LIMERICK publican Donal Mulcahy is the proud new owner of the landmark Woodfield House Hotel on the Ennis Road, the Limerick Leader can reveal.
Mr Mulcahy, proprietor of popular city centre watering holes Nancy Blake’s and Tom Collins’, told the Leader that he has every intention of continuing to operate the Woodfield as a hotel and is currently upgrading the 26 rooms.
The hotel was put on the market late last year with an asking price of €625,000, but it is believed the deal went through at closer to the €550,000 mark.
Mr Mulcahy declined to discuss the price but said he was looking forward to working on the northside of the city.
“That side of town around the Ennis Road has a large population with few amenities really in terms of places to go out,” he said.
“When the Davin Arms closed, maybe eight or nine years ago, I was looking to see if I could find a place myself around there. There was nothing there really apart from the Ardhu Ryan and the Woodfield. So when the Woodfield came on the market I said I would have a punt and see how it went and luckily enough I managed to get my hands on it,” he added.
“The whole area needs more eateries and more choice,” Mr Mulcahy said, pointing to the success north of the Shannon of cafes like Jack Monday’s in Thomondgate and Javino’s (formerly Mac’s) on the Ennis Road.
There are “nearly 3,500 houses within a square mile” of the Woodfield and he hopes to offer more choice as well as holding on to the existing customer base.
And there was also “the fact that we are sandwiched between the Gaelic Grounds and Thomond Park”, which makes it an attractive business proposition on big match days and potential concerts.
Mr Mulcahy said he was planning to make “a couple of small changes” in the coming months and “in a year or two make a decision on whether to do major construction work on it”.
“There are 26 rooms here and the way we described it is as a family hotel. We are upgrading the rooms as it is right now.”
While a decision on a major redevelopment is yet to be made, Mr Mulcahy said there would be some structural work done in the bar/restaurant area over the next year.
“We will be carrying out improvements that may involve a temporary or a part-closure. Since we have moved out here though, we have been very happy with the business we have here. There is a great bunch of people living in the area. Running Nancy’s and Tom Collins’ is a completely different market to what we have in here but everybody in here has been great,” he said.