He was speaking at the Licensed Vintners Association Annual Conference which took place yesterday afternoon in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin, attended by around 180 Dublin publicans.
Finance and the future of the bar trade comprised the two key issues for the conference and the finance portion included contributions on banking issues facing publicans, alternative lending options and a discussion around pub values.
The two other speakers were the Director of Commercial Property Lending with Finance Ireland Niall King on alternative lending and the Director of Licensed and Leisure with Morrissey’s Lisney Tony Morrissey who summed up the outlook for the licensed trade as “positive” as he saw it going forward.
While Brexit posed a certain level of uncertainty, the Western seaboard, the South West and the South East of the country were going to struggle, he said, adding that the licensed trade in suburban areas of Dublin will become stronger again.
“2019 is going to finish up strong and 2020 will be just as good,” he assured vintners.
A top-class line-up of international and Irish publicans joined broadcaster and journalist Ivan Yates during the ‘Publicans’ Panel’ portion of the conference, where they discussed the future of the bar trade, how it is evolving, changing consumer trends and innovations throughout the industry.
The panel included high profile publicans from New York (Irishman Mark Fox, President & Founder of Fox Lifestyle Hospitality Group in the US), London (Kells native Patrick Dardis, Chief Executive of Young’s Brewery and Pub Group in the UK with a market capitalisation of £750 million)and Dublin (Matt Ryan, owner of the 47-outlet Press Up Entertainment Group), Shane Treacy (Managing Director of the Mercantile Group) and Alan Clancy (owner of NolaClan which includes 37 Dawson Street and House outlets in Dublin, Belfast and Limerick).
Speaking ahead of the conference, LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe had said that the event would cover topics of interest to all Dublin publicans. These are real meaty topics which will be both topical and engaging for our attendees. For any publican, nothing is more important than managing the future of their pub.
“In the face of changing consumer habits and a broadening competitive marketplace across the Dublin hospitality scene, we want to provide real insight on how these issues have been addressed in other intense markets such as New York and London, as well as some examples of best practice from within Dublin.”
Full report in the next issue of Drinks Industry Ireland.