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Well-known pub owners behind plan for high-end wine bar in Salthill


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Well-known pub owners behind plan for high-end wine bar in Salthill Well-known pub owners behind plan for high-end wine bar in Salthill

A proposed new wine bar in Salthill would offer punters “something a bit different” in the village, according to those behind the project.

The O’Connor family have lodged plans with the City Council which would transform their former off licence at 147 Upper Salthill into a “high-end” wine bar.

The application, made by Tom and Frank O’Connor of Nelmar Entertainment Ltd, seeks a change of use for the former Salthill Liquor Store which closed its doors just before Covid restrictions were introduced in 2020.

Speaking to the Galway City Tribune this week, Tom O’Connor said there was a real sense that Salthill was “on the up” and a wine bar such as they were proposing would be a welcome addition to the village’s hospitality offering.

“The dynamic of Salthill has changed in recent years and we think what we’re proposing here would be very viable.

“It was an off-licence previously and we had good connections with some great wine suppliers, so there is a good wine knowledge there,” he said.

The new venture would be distinct from the O’Connor’s pub, continued Mr O’Connor, and would cater to the widest possible tastes.

“It would be an addition to what Salthill already has to offer – we feel there is a market for it. What we’d be hoping to do is wine and cheese platters; opening in the evenings giving people somewhere to go if they don’t necessarily want to go for a full meal.

“It would involve a full revamp of the building and a whole new fitout,” he said of the unit which is located between Salthill Pharmacy and Fancy Fare, and is connected at the rear to the family pub.

The off-licence trade had collapsed, said Mr O’Connor, as supermarkets dominated the market, and the bar presented an opportunity to repurpose the currently vacant unit as a new venue for locals and visitors.

In the planning application, architect Tom O’Toole said the change of use proposed would complement the existing pub and provide for a “more vibrant use of the space”.

“There is call for a high-end wine bar in the Salthill area. It is proposed to have a high-end internal finish and to provide a very attractive front elevation.

“The signage will be in keeping with the shop front and signage design guidelines. We will provide raised lettering with downlighters and have an Irish element to the proposed signage,” he said.

Drawings submitted as part of the application show seating for 40 people on the premises, with the link to O’Connor’s Pub retained for staff.

A decision on the application is due at the beginning of July.

(Photo: a conceptual design image included as part of the planning application).

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