Portglenone is next stop for hospitality group as Fiddlers Rest reopens

Significant investment by Dormans sees popular venue transformed into premier themed ‘Irish Pub’

Dormans Group
Pictured during final preparations for the opening of the refurbished Fiddlers Rest in Portglenone are (from left) Ciara Duggan (front of house staff), Aaron Laverty (venue manager) and Ryan McGlone (Dormans Hospitality Group commercial manager) (@Matt Mackey)

Just months after its acquisition of the iconic Plough Inn in Hillsborough, the Dormans Group has made another significant addition to its growing hospitality portfolio with the opening of Fiddlers Rest in Portglenone following a substantial investment.

Its owners, one of the best-know families in the industry, bring a wealth of experience to Portglenone, having successfully operated a number of venues in the Mid-Ulster area including Dormans, Mary’s Bar, Tipsy Tap, Slims Healthy Kitchen (Magherafelt) and Secrets Nightclub.

Dormans director Henry McGlone said: “Much hard work has gone in over the last six months to help us realise our vision for a venue which we believe has tremendous potential.

“Looking around today, we are thrilled with the results of all that endeavour. Our vision was to transport locals and tourists back in time to the traditional ‘Irish pub’ and are looking forward to welcoming past patrons as well as opening our door to new customers in this exciting new venture.”

The enhanced Fiddlers Rest venue is set over 7,000 sq ft and offers four bars, gastro pub menu, private function rooms as well as facilities for live music events across the venue supported by 35 staff.

The acquisition of Fiddlers Rest is a significant addition the family-run hospitality business and provides a unique opportunity to develop a new concept and theme for the venue, according to commercial manager Ryan McGlone.

He said: “The purchase and development of Fiddlers Rest is an important and welcome addition to our expanding business in Northern Ireland.

“We have a very clear vision to establish Fiddlers Rest as the premier themed ‘Irish Pub’ in the region and beyond. Our entertainment, food & beverage as well as overall ambience will be reflective of this vision.

“We are confident we can appeal to not only a regional audience but to tourists from wider afield who wish to sample an authentic Irish pub experience.”

He added: “Live entertainment will be a key ingredient of the new Fiddlers Rest and we are looking forward to engaging with the best of local talent as well as attracting leading figures from the traditional music scene from across Ireland and beyond.”