Outdoor Leisure in Cork this Summer? Leisure Insurance
Cork City Council has applied to close Little Cross Street from June 17 until October 30 to facilitate the return of the outdoor seating area on the street.
The Orchard Grove, as it was dubbed in 2015, proved a huge hit with shoppers and tourists as the side-street, which connects Washington Street to Hannover Street, was closed to traffic and decorated with funky trees, artificial grass, lighting, tables and chairs for the summer.
Paul Montgomery, owner of Reardens Bar, welcomed its return in the coming weeks and urged everyone to take advantage of it.
It was a huge hit in 2015, which convinced all involved to bring it back for 2016 too.“It was super. For us, it was about getting people sitting outside, eating food and enjoying themselves — it wasn’t a late-night drinking den,” said Mr Montgomery.
“You don’t have to be a customer of Reardens to use it. It is for everyone. We want tourists, shoppers, everyone taking the time to relax in a nice vibrant, green space. We invested serious money in it last year to get it up and running and will do the same again this year.”
Mr Montgomery called for the City Council to consider similar spaces all over the city, in particular on Oliver Plunkett Street and the adjacent side streets.
“There are so many spaces which we could be using. I’d like to see more tables and chairs to get everyone to come into the city. Let’s make it more like a park and less like a concrete block.”
The public space is part of a grand strategy for the entire area, with traders set to submit plans to Cork City Council for a so-called ‘Hannover Quarter’ in the coming weeks.
Similar to initiatives by traders in other parts of the city, such as MacCurtain Street, it would represent an overall strategy to maximise business, cultural and tourism opportunities in the area.
Though plans are at an early stage, it is thought that they would see events staged between the premises in the area with a focus on food, drinks and culture. “It would bring the whole area to life,” said Mr Montgomery.“It is a very social idea and would see some cooperation with our neighbours. Hopefully we will some progress on it soon.”