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New bar and restaurant to open in Portlaoise this weekend as old Egan’s gets a new lease of life

Work is ongoing this week in the new Lilly's Bar in Portlaoise which is set to open on Friday night

The night scene in Portlaoise is to get a new bar and restuarant this weekend with Lilly’s Bar set to open on Friday for the first time in the building that was previously home to Egan’s for many years and in more recent times to The Blue Door and the Manhattan Mixer.

Work has been ongoing for the last couple of weeks at the venue – and the final touches are being put to it ahead of the weekend

The opening is to co-incide with the Old Fort Festival and the Leinster football final on Sunday which will also lead to a big crowd being in town after the game.

The premises is owned by the O’Loughlin family, who own O’Loughlin’s Hotel just a couple of doors up on Main Street.

It has been leased out long-term to Alan Clancy, who is behind a the NolaCla group that has a number of pubs around the country including House in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Kilkenny.

Laois footballer Kieran Lillis – who will line out for Laois in Sunday’s Leinster final – is the proprietor and the name of the bar is a play on his name. Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan, who has a bar with Clancy in Kilkenny, is a partner in the business. Brogan is currently recovering from a cruciate injury so himself and Lillis won’t cross paths on the field on Sunday.

Lillis was involved with the hugely popular Manhattan Mixer since it started a couple of years ago but has parted company with that venue in recent times.

The Manhattan Mixer was based where Lilly’s Bar is now but moved to the Market Square last year into where Coppers Night Club used to be.

It’s understood significant refurbishment work has been carried out on the inside of the venue.

It is set to be open seven days a week from 12noon until late with a late bar on Friday, Saturday and Bank Holidays. The late bar will be over 23.

A food menu will be launched in the coming weeks and will also be able to cater for functions of up to 300 people.

The arrival of Lilly’s Bar is the latest news on the bar scene in Portlaoise.

The Office Bar and Venue on the other side of Main Street, which is run by David Finn, is currently on the market with John O’Brien of Elite Estate Agents

The sale of the Office Bar and Venue is the latest development in the pub scene in Portlaoise.

The Square Bar was sold late in 2017 by the Fitzpatrick family to Michael Scully from Ballyroan but that sale has been delayed over a number of issues and it has been closed since Christmas.

Jeremiah Grant’s on Main Street, which is owned by the Watchorne family from Mountmellick, underwent a major transformation and rebranded from Lethean to its new name, an historical nod to the last person hanged in the courthouse just across the road.

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories