Entire business offering has transformed at ‘The Local’ three years on from the first Covid lockdown
Pre-Pandemic ‘The Local’ in Dungarvan County Waterford was known as the must-visit pub in the attractive seaside town, now, following the third anniversary of the first Covid lockdown the business has been transformed and owners Helena and Donnchadh couldn’t be happier.
Last orders were called on usual pub trade and usual life in general in March 2020. At the 24-year-old establishment owners, husband and wife Donnchadh and Helena decided to focus on an area of the business that was already doing well but not at the fore of their offering. The Local’s dining menu was always popular with regulars, featuring a variety of locally caught seafood, great burgers and a list of home-cooked dining options all made from scratch with the most locally available ingredients.
Helena and Donnchadh fed most of West Waterford during lockdown as they expanded their menu, introduced tapas and brought their menu online with a click-and-collect service that sold out every week.
Speaking of that transition Helena who is the gourmet guru at The Local says, “While Covid lockdowns were incredibly difficult for the pub trade we knew that we had a popular food offering, it was something we never pushed and the lockdown gave us the opportunity to revisit that, look at the entire business offering and really place a lot of attention on what an area of the business that is a huge passion for me.
We were blown away by the response that we received and thought perhaps it was an initial novelty but no, we had repeat customers week after week and actually sold out every night. It was far busier than we ever expected. So much so that we decided to re-position our entire business offering from a pub focus to food and now since lockdowns have lifted this focus remains in place and we couldn’t be happier about that decision.”
The TV screens were removed from the bar, the toilets, the bar and dining layout were re-done and a new outdoor heated dining area has now become a focal point in the town square.
The Local now features lunch, evening and weekend menus with every dish being homemade and featuring an abundance of award-winning locally sourced ingredients. Seafood is a focal point with a delicious home-made Helvick Head Seafood Chowder on offer accompanied by Helena’s own brown bread or Freshly crumbed Hake Goujons with garden peas and homemade chips; specials include season catch from fresh lobster to crab claws along with a selection of mouthwatering homemade burgers, steak, black pudding salads and more.
Along with being front of house Irish Traditional Music is also Donnchadh’s forté, as he plays both the uileann pipes and bodhrán. Donnchadh has been playing music since the age of 10 and has toured the world with the band Danú, as one of their founding members. Hence, traditional music is certainly also to the fore at ‘The Local’.
The Local is open 7 days per week and can be found at Grattan Square in Dungarvan County Waterford and online at www.thelocal.ie