Located three miles from the major harbour of Kilmore – Mary Barry’s is a destination for seafood lovers from all over Ireland. But it wasn’t always this way and this just proves the dedication, persistence and innovation of Susie, its owner.
Susie bought Mary Barry’s in 2001, a then thriving typical Irish pub business, in 2008 recession bit and like many others she found that the pub business died almost overnight. Not one to give in easily, Susie decided that she needed to respond to the crisis to keep her business going and providing a food offering was the way to go. To attract diners she introduced standard pub grub fare – burgers, chips, steaks etc but soon tapped into the glorious bounty that was on her doorstep.
Working with Susie her husband Alec – a fisherman all his life, they introduced seafood to their menu and quickly developed a reputation for sourcing and delivering the freshest, finest seafood dishes in the area. Susie consolidated and built on this reputation and now has over one hundred seats between bar, lounge and restaurant with an additional 100 seats outside for summer dining.
The restaurant is a child friendly venue, welcoming families and Alec told me that parents recognising the nutritious value of fish really value the opportunity to introduce their children to seafood. Children can choose from a range of seafood dishes with goujons being the most popular. For customers there are a huge range of dishes to choose from with Lemon Sole and Kilmore Crab among the bestsellers with plenty of meat and vegetarian options also.
The kitchen team is headed up by Chef Nicky Cullen who recently won the Best Chef Award at the South East Radio Awards and they are also lucky enough to have a Thai chef on board who has enabled them to add an additional element to their seafood offering, using a delicate balance of flavours and spices from the east.
With an investment in a new 85 space car park to cater for the steady influx of guests there is no doubt that Mary Barry’s is a go to destination on the south east coast.