Home News Community Weekend Read: ‘Salud’ says Stapo Brown as Lanzarote bar venture shines

Weekend Read: ‘Salud’ says Stapo Brown as Lanzarote bar venture shines

Stapo's Kazbar Lanzarote Main

“It’s a home away from home,” says Liam ‘Stapo’ Brown of his pub in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote.

‘Stapo’s’ Kazbar’ is a magnet for many Laois people on holidays – every since it first opened its doors last October.

“I’d been coming here for the last 15 or 16 years. I had bought an apartment here and it was my local pub,” the well known  Portlaoise business man recounts.

“My father, Tom, passed away in 1998 and I brought my mother, Maura out here. It was her first time in Lanzarote and she loved it, and my family loved it.

“You get 320 days of sunshine a year here. So opening the pub made perfect sense.”

Apart from the good weather, another attraction is the lower spend required on a night out.

“Local Amstel is only €2.50; pints of Coors Light and Heineken are only €4:00, the cheapest in Puerto Del Carmen,” contends Stapo.

The bar opens from 7.30am daily when the locals drop in for coffee, and closes at 1.30 am.

A Celtic supporter and sponsor of Portlaoise GAA, Old Fort Celtic FC, Portlaoise AFC – and a sponsor of the Laois Ladies football team when they won the All-Ireland Ladies’ Intermediate Football Championship in 2022 – Stapo shows the big sporting events on screen.

There’s also every chance of a sing song, and bingo takes place every Tuesday at 3pm.

“We get Irish, English, Scots and other nationalities. The support from Laois is great. I also want to thank my regular customers who support him all the time, the ex pats.

“A lot of Laois people staying in other parts of the island make it their business to come over to us. Some nights have nothing but Laois people here,” laughs Stapo, a founding member of Gaelscoil Phortlaoise.

A lot of Laois people enjoy the opportunity to get to know people from the county they hadn’t come across previously, Stapo says.

He gets over to Lanzarote every third or fourth weekend.

“A lot of places here can’t get staff because of Brexit and accommodation here is a major problem, just like at home.

“I’m lucky I have staff who are living here and have their own houses. They are absolutely brilliant and keep it all going when I am back in Portlaoise.”

This arrangement allows him to stay involved in his Portlaoise businesses, DeBruns at Hume’s bar which is managed by his son, Tommy, with his other son, Liam Og, working there part-time, Kelton Dry Cleaners, Lyster Square and Pristine Cleaners, Dublin Road.

His two daughters, Niamh and Clidna, plan to return home from Australia in August and will be heading to Lanzarote for a holiday.

Stapo says he is glad he took the leap and bought the bar. Combining the sunshine, outdoor attractions and lower prices of Lanzarote with family, friends and community at home, he is revelling in the best of both worlds. “I’m 100 per cent happy. So far, so good,” he says.

Having been touched by tragedy within his own extended family – he has six brothers and two sisters – Stapo says his view is that life is too short not to take a chance.

The loss of his nephew, David Brown, in an accident along with the death of Eoin Fitzpatrick and his son Dylan while holidaying in Turkey, the death of Adam Kirwan from Derrough, Mountrath, in a car accident and the passing of Eoin Coss, Mountmellick, after an illness, all illustrate how life can change in seconds, he said.

“People gave me great encouragement when I was thinking of buying the bar in Lanzarote and I just decided to go for it.

“I’m learning the language out here. For the moment I’m just enjoying it. We’ll see what the future brings.”

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