BY JACKIE KEOGH
A DERELICT building in the centre of Skibbereen has been purchased by the successful restaurateur, Regina Daly.
The redbrick building, adjacent to The Church restaurant, which has been derelict for decades, will be transformed, ‘but not in the immediate future’, Regina told The Southern Star.
‘I want the end result to be of the same standard as The Church so I will take some time before I decide how best to develop it. But my long-term plan is to expand The Church restaurant and create a new wine bar and tapas area.’
Regina showed great vision in buying the old Methodist church in 2004 and bringing it back to life in its new incarnation as a popular restaurant and venue.
Even when tragedy struck in 2006 – when the building was burned to the ground in a random act of arson – she showed extraordinary resilience in recreating a restaurant that is unlike any other. Simply put, it has the ‘wow’ factor.
The interior is as impressive as any major restaurant in any major city in the world and tourists are often awestruck by the double height ceiling, the stained glass windows, the winding stairwell and the ornate chandeliers.
Speaking to The Southern Star last Thursday, Regina confirmed that when phase two – then corrected herself and said ‘phase three’ – goes ahead it will require a significant investment in the order of €300,000, but it may not be for some time yet. ‘Skibbereen is a great town in which to do business. We have had a fantastic summer and there are signs everywhere of the economy improving. And Christmas is also looking good.’
Regina thanked her loyal customers for their friendship and support over the years and, she said: ‘None of this would have been possible without the staff – they are an incredible team.’