One of the Midlands’ leading live music venues for the last 20 years changed hands this week with local man Declan Murray (42 ) taking over the reins at The Stables in Mullingar on the retirement of Tommy McManus.
Tommy and wife Miriam had been in charge of the Yukon bar on Dominick Street for the last 40 years, converting the rear into a venue in 1990, and last weekend they handed over the lease to the musician and former telecom engineer from Woodlands in Grange.
Though with a lot more experience on the public side of the mahogany, Murray was involved in the promotion and organising of approximately 1,000 gigs throughout the Nineties and Noughties in The Stables along with Andy McManus, Ronan Casey, and Justin Moffatt.
“The selling point [of the premises] was The Stables at the back of The Yukon, and we’ve brought all that back to the front where the fun should be,” said Murray.
“We’ve brought all the photos from the glory days up the front, including the Hot Press award. Basically, we just brought the spirit of the place up to the bar,” he added, explaining his changes.
“We had a brilliant Sunday, with trad out the front as part of the Dominick Street food fair. It was mad to see Tommy and Miriam having a glass of wine in their own bar. And we were swamped on Tuesday night!”
“We’ll get the legs settled this week and next week, and have the official opening in two weeks.”
Murray has renovated the toilets -“I was getting nine, nine and a half out of 10 from the ladies!” - and will bring bar food and fresh coffee in as part of the new service.
In a nice tribute, local musician and regular Stables’ veteran Noel O’Farrell who wrote a song last year to commemorate Tommy’s 20th anniversary, added a verse and had the song framed and presented to the new venture.