The Rosapenna Coach House Terrace Bar launching Summer 2018, designed in collaboration with Rosapenna resort owner Frank Casey Senior, built and installed by local men Dominic mcGroddy and Dugy McGlone – founders of Hibernian Pub Company.
Showcasing this Summer, where golfers and guests can enjoy the functional and visually striking Coach House bar overlooking Sheephaven Bay – this bar is steeped in history with a story spanning over 125 years, constructed entirely of reclaimed Norwegian Pitch Pine that formed part of the old coach house in the nearby Mulroy Estate. Lord Leitrim, owner and builder of both the original Rosapenna Hotel (1893) & Mulroy Estate, had this timber shipped direct from Norway via steam liner to Mulroy Bay in the early 1890’s to build the very first hotel as well as much of the Mulroy Estate where Leitrim resided. History serendipitously repeated itself when Frank Casey Snr worked with Hibernian Pub Company this year, to bring a piece of heritage into the new build, restoring the values of local craftsmanship and seeing the potential the rural gem of Donegal has to offer now in 2018 more than ever, much like his predecessor had foreseen, over a century before.
Frank Casey Snr wanted to expand his function and bar area to better serve guests and maximise the space, without compromising the classic aesthetic that appealed to his golf resort guests, all the while ensuring that the history of both the place and the origins of the hotel were kept intact throughout the process.
Dominic and Dugy founders of Downings based company, Hibernian Pub Co, who have half a century’s worth of experience of their own in the bar design, build and installation process and industry – predominantly in the area of Irish bars, were more than up for the challenge of retaining and using the Norwegian pine, and are experienced in delivering quality to a specific brief. Hibernian Pub Co’s local links further intensified their passion for this particular project, knowing that they were part of making history, and Frank Casey Snr’s knowledge and expertise in providing luxury-hospitality experiences complemented the Hibernian Pub Company job to perfection, as is reflected in the new bar – the bespoke beams, made from the surplus wood being a key feature. Hibernian Pub Company used the historic materials, refining them through innovative techniques in their workshop, the onus on retaining the historic quality.
Commenting on Hibernian Pub Company’s work on the Coach House Terrace Bar; Rosapenna Owner, Frank Casey Snr said “The work carried out by Dugy and Dominic was excellent, such an enhanced look I was extremely happy with the end result, a standout for me was the doors; they are fabulous, made with special hinges and handles for discretion and functionality, both doors were crafted to integrate and separate – so impressive, I had never seen the likes in my life. Working with local tradesmen and achieving such effective and high-quality work has been great for us here at the hotel.”
The original hotel was destroyed by a fire in May 1962 before moving to the Sheephaven Lodge which then became toady’s Rosapenna Hotel. Purchased by Frank Casey Snr in 1981 for £500,000, local-man Frank started out working in the hotel on his school holidays (now a family run business with his wife Hilary, and sons John and Frank Jnr who have pivotal roles in running the successful golf hotel). Business is booming for the seaside golf resort, with regular visitors from Northern Ireland and the UK as well as golfers from the US, Germany and France coming to play the famous links from the Old Tom Morris to the Sandy Hills and will relax in the Coach House Terrace bar after a day’s golf this Summer.
This piece of local craftsmanship reflects a time over 100 years ago, when many local men were compelled to get on the boats to Scotland and America, as work was scarce nationally and in the parish of Mevagh particularly, the initial building work for the Rosapenna meant many people were spared from emigration and this has come full-circle today, with Frank Casey Snr placing an emphasis on the local economy and sourcing skilled labour from the locality, with heritage at its heart. In the high-season the hotel employs up to 90 people and sources regular maintenance and design in the off-season, which was when Dominic and Dugy carried out their work on the new bar build.
Dominic McGroddy and Dugy McGlone commented “We discovered a niche in the market for a service that delivers well made, thoughtfully designed, Irish pubs, from dream to end product – with authenticity in mind. Being able to come home to Downings and create from a real, rural Irish setting is amazing and to secure such an interesting local project was a massive plus – working with reclaimed Norwegian Pitch Pine, to create a stand-out bar was a project we’re extremely proud of, being part of history in such a renowned establishment.”
For more information on Hibernian Pub Company, see hibernianpubco.com.
Pictured: Dugy mcGlone, Frank Casey Snr of Rosapenna Hotel, and Dominic McGroddy, Hibernian Pub Company.