Country gastropub Gowdy’s of Down Royal has been acquired by its long-term lessees as part of a six-figure investment supported by Ulster Bank.
Situated next to the Down Royal Racecourse, in Lisburn, the pub became a go-to destination for spectators at the course’s 12 annual race meetings, during which time the business had to change to accommodate the significantly increased demand.
Husband-and-wife team Tara and Declan Walsh first met while working in bars on various cruise liners, where both were employed for over a decade, in the 1990s.
Moving back to Northern Ireland, they continued to work in the hospitality sector, running a number of local bars before taking up positions together in Gowdy’s of Down Royal.
It was in 2014 that the opportunity arose for them to take on the lease of the premises, after an extended period of closure for the business.
For almost a decade now, under the Walshes’ management, Gowdy’s of Down Royal has grown significantly, with turnover doubling and staff headcount increasing threefold.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to say that we are the proud owners of Gowdy’s of Down Royal,” said Tara Walsh.
“We always knew we wanted to buy the business – as far back as 2014, when we first took over the lease.
“Over the past decade, we’ve put a lot of time and energy into building the business up to where it is today and re-establishing the brand as a go-to destination.”
The couple also expressed their gratitude to Ulster Bank for help in making the dream become a reality.
“We’re so pleased to help Tara and Declan acquire this established business,” said Lee White, Ulster Bank business development manager.
“Their knowledge and proven experience, combined with their enthusiasm and vision, demonstrates not only its significant growth and transformation over the past decade, but the great future it has ahead under their ownership.”