Elaine and Wade Murphy, 1826 Adare, are involved in the village’s business association
ADARE has historically been strong for small businesses, and that fact still holds true today.
The varied businesses in the village include a number of fashionable boutiques, multi award-winning restaurant 1826 Adare, and airy art gallery Draíocht.
The Heritage Centre on Main Street has been a central hub for tourism since its opening in 1994, with souvenirs and hearty meals being served in tandem. Tours for all the attractions are also organised.
“Things are great. The facilities of the centre cater to the demands of the huge influx of people to the town. A lot of people don’t know that we are open every day except Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day,” said manager Maeve Martin-Kelly.
And there’s no shortage of fine watering holes, with both the Collins family and the Chawkes catering to the beverage market, along with several others. Luxury hotels Dunraven Arms, the Woodlands House Hotel and the revamped Adare Manor do their bit to keep tourists in Adare for as long as possible.
“Business is good in the village,” said Louis Murphy of the Dunraven Arms.
“The English market is down at the moment, so US visitors are increasingly important. And since we are just 25 minutes from the airport, tourists are using us as a first stop off before heading south to Killarney and so on. But now, Adare is a destination in itself for tourism. The wedding market is also huge for us,” he said.
Many of the village’s entrepreneurs organise themselves under the Adare Business Association, as they work together to maximise success. Chairperson Wade Murphy is the chef at 1826 Adare, and owns the trendy thatched-cottage restaurant along with his wife Elaine.
A precursor of the business association, Adare Innkeepers, was very active during the 80s and 90s, and was instrumental in bringing tourism and business to Adare.
Billy Chawke, who once owned Aunty Lena’s, remembers time spent travelling to shows and conventions with the group, promoting Adare. Weddings in Adare were great, he said, as there would be a round of drinks in the pub across from the park while photographs would be taken.
“The ripple effect of weddings on the entire community is fantastic,” said Ms Martin-Kelly.