Couple Invest €850,000 To Convert Derelict Site In Kilkee Into A Seafood Destination

By Robert McHugh
Couple Invest €850,000 To Convert Derelict Site In Kilkee Into A Seafood Destination

A couple in Co. Clare have invested €850,000 to transform a derelict site in the centre of Kilkee into a seafood destination.

Robert Hayes and his wife Elaine recently opened Naughton’s Yard, a development which includes apartments, a café, an art gallery and a vintage food truck serving locally caught seafood.

'Fishing Heritage'

“We had our eye on this derelict site for some time and saw huge potential for it. The location is perfect, and is close to the seafront," said Robert Hayes.

"We wanted the development to promote the fishing heritage that Kilkee and West Clare are known for, and to incorporate this with promoting local art.”

Seafood Taskforce

The €850,000 project was completed with the support of a €41,000 grant under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme, recommended by the Seafood Taskforce established by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. and implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).


The scheme is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

'Local Family'

Robert and Elaine have been running the Naughtons Seafood Restaurant in the centre of the town for the last 25 years.

“We are a local family who live and work here and have created employment in the area over the last 25 years," said Robert Hayes.

"We are proud to be creating new jobs while promoting the rich coastal tourism and fishing heritage our area has to offer.”

1968 American Airstream Trailer

The new seafood destination, which is just 500 metres from the beach, has been developed on what was the site of stables used for carriage horses that serviced the old West Clare Railway in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.


Elaine led on the decors used for the new centre to ensure they were unique, with a strong seaside theme.

The final part of the project involved the sourcing of a vintage 1968 American Airstream trailer which has been converted it into a outdoor food truck offering delicious seafood sourced from local suppliers and fishermen including lobster, prawns, hake and lemon sole.

'A Huge Attraction'

“We were very excited about this. It is proving to be a huge attraction, and allows for outdoor dining with awnings to provide shelter in bad weather," said Robert Hayes.

"There is also a take-home food service.”

'Sea To Fork'

Robert said they have forged relationships with local fisherman and suppliers to deliver sustainably caught seafood from 'sea to fork', thereby keeping a low to neutral carbon footprint.


In addition, the couple are only using eco-friendly compostable and recycled packaging, keeping with Kilkee’s 'Make Kilkee Plastic Free' initiative.

Solar panels are providing 70% of electricity.