Empire looks set to rise again as The Betsy bar in Swords

by Sylvia Pownall

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A former manager of the Empire Bar & Grill in Swords has bought the premises and plans to reopen the bar and restaurant under a new name.

The pub has undergone extensive refurbishment and will open its doors to the public as The Betsy on Friday, November 23 – just in time for the Christmas trade.

Jerry Harrington and his brother Donal have bought the popular Main Street venue after the Empire went into liquidation and closed without warning on August 7.

Jerry is known throughout the licensing trade for his uncanny ability to turn around an ailing business and is expected to work his magic on his latest venture.

His lengthy and impressive CV includes four years as operations manager with the Wright Group, which includes Wright’s Cafe Bar in Swords, Findlaters in Howth and the Wright Venue in Airside.

He also owned Dublin’s Barclay Club, Temple Theatre Complex and a restaurant in Durban, South Africa as well as overseeing the Empire Bar as general manager from 2014 to 2017.

Jerry told Dublin Gazette: “My vision is an inviting and upmarket eatery for locals and visitors, together with a range of elegant and classy boutique bars to service the fast-growing town of Swords and north Dublin.”

The Betsy will employ more than 60 staff, including former employees who were left high and dry when the Empire closed down abruptly after the August bank holiday weekend.

Staff who were left without wages attended a creditors’ meeting a month later where they were assured any pay owed would be forthcoming.

A source said: “Jerry is delighted to be back in the bustling town of Swords with a great bar and restaurant.

“Under his renowned management skills, The Betsy will have an exceptional level of customer care and service.

“The plan is for an extensive range of drinks and cocktails with superb food and music. He really does seem to have the Midas touch and this sounds like another winner.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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