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One of Ireland’s largest pub groups set to take over prominent Portlaoise bar

Nanny Kelly's

One of Ireland’s largest pub groups is set to take over a prominent bar in Portlaoise which recently closed down.

The name ‘Nanny Kelly’s’ appeared over the door of the former Lilly’s Bar & Kitchen today – which closed in February.

And LaoisToday understands that the Chris Kelly Group are the ones who are behind it.

Founded in the mid 1990s by businessman Chris Kelly, the Chris Kelly Group comprises of some of Dublin’s best-known landmark city centre and suburban pubs.

These include Sinnotts on South King Street, Capitol on Stephen’s Street and The Black Lion in Inchicore.

They also own The Parkview Hotel in Wicklow, as well as units in New York and Marbella.

PJ Horgan’s is the name of the US establishment while Lemmon is their southern Spain destination.

Lilly’s was opened under proprietor Kieran Lillis in the summer of 2018 and had an official opening in October of that year. 

The premises is owned by the O’Loughlin family, who also previously owned O’Loughlin’s Hotel a couple of doors up the street.

Lilly’s was part of the overall NolaClan pub group, which runs venues across the country. Prior to opening, the venue underwent a considerable refurbishment.

A statement from Lilly’s in February cited the “challenging economic landscape … marked by escalating costs” as factors in the decision to close.

The premises was originally taken on a lease from the O’Loughlins who bought the property, which was then Egan’s, in 2014, and opened under the name ‘The Blue Door’ in May 2015.

For a while it was home to the Manhatten Mixer nightclub brand, though that then moved to Copper’s in the Market Square.

It is unclear if Nanny Kelly’s will remain as a bar and food venue like Lilly’s or if the attached nightclub, Ember, will reopen either.

An announcement from the company plus an official opening date are expected in the coming days.

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