Being closed for a long spell of time has led to pubs and restaurants around the country using the opportunity to upgrade their facilities.
And one such establishment to make the most of lockdown is De Bruns @Humes in Portlaoise, owned by Liam ‘Stapo’ Brown.
The have completely overhauled an area at the back of the pub to accommodate a new beer garden that can comfortably seat 70 to 80 people.
Outdoor service in pubs and restaurants resumes from this Monday, June 7, with indoor service allowed again from July onwards.
And the owners have also used the time to renovate the function room with a new ceiling to include extra ventilation and retracting skylights.
The family-run pub where Stapo’s four adult children – Niamh, Cliodhna, Tommy and Liam Og – help out is known as a great sports pub and the Brown family are supporters of all local sports clubs.
It is also the home of the Laois Republic of Ireland supporters club and to town Reds supporters club.
“Every sports supporter, no matter what sport, is welcome here,” says Stapo as he looks forward to re-opening.
“When restrictions lift, looking forward to welcoming back all parties or special occasions including family gatherings.
“It has been a tough time on everybody in the hospitality sector, so hopefully this is the beginning of the new normal.
“A special word of thanks to Paddy Martin and Niall Fitzpatrick plant hire, for their massive effort in clearing and preparing the site.
“Also to Jack Friel and Paul Dowling for the ground works, and for the absolute fantastic woodwork done by Greg Norton carpentry services.”