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Under my umbrella Pubs preparing for outdoor dining reopening with umbrellas, pods and retractable roofs

A €25,000 umbrella installation has been erected at the back of Fallon's of Kilcullen in Co Kildare, inspired by owner Brian Fallon's skiing trips in Europe before the pandemic.

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Patsy Simion, general manager of Fallon's of Kilcullen, at their outdoor dining area covered by a 7x7-metre umbrella. Photo: Mark Condren

Patsy Simion, general manager of Fallon's of Kilcullen, at their outdoor dining area covered by a 7x7-metre umbrella. Photo: Mark Condren

Patsy Simion, general manager of Fallon's of Kilcullen, at their outdoor dining area covered by a 7x7-metre umbrella. Photo: Mark Condren

Restaurants and pubs are installing new outdoor dining options ahead of reopening on June 7.

Greenhouses, umbrella installations, glass pagodas, covered pods, and retractable roofs are all being built to shelter diners from wind and rain.

A €25,000 umbrella installation has been erected at the back of Fallon's of Kilcullen in Co Kildare, inspired by owner Brian Fallon's skiing trips in Europe before the pandemic.

"We took a bit of a leap of faith," he said.

"I'm an avid skier and I've been looking at them for years in Austria, they're a fantastic piece of kit."

"I didn't buy it just for Covid. I got it to weatherproof the outdoor dining area and it's garnered huge interest."

In Cashel, a pagoda-style dining area known as the "glass table" at Mikey Ryan's Bar and Kitchen is booked out every Saturday until the end of summer, according to general manager Adriaan Bartels.

"This will definitely be an offering for the future, not just for the current restrictions," he said.

"Before, we wouldn't have been so quick to develop this. But we saw there's an opportunity there to make something out of the area, and luckily the first glass table development was done in the first lockdown. We were able to do the building work while no guests were there."

The Fáilte Ireland outdoor dining grant is applied for through local authorities.

It gives €4,000 to businesses as 75pc of costs for any street furniture bought between April 2020 and September 2021.

Meanwhile, visitors to Bray's seafront this summer will find two greenhouses, which can each seat parties of six, outside the Martello Hotel.

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The hotel's marketing manager Robyn Condon said: "We had them for the last reopening as well and people loved them.

"We have fans in them, they do heat up, we've thought of that, so there'll be nice cool air on you while you're there.

"It's nice to have the privacy of them and to be in your own little hub as you catch up with family or friends.

"It's something a bit different and it gives people a bit of peace of mind as well."

In Louisburgh in Co Mayo, Tia cafe, bakery and deli now has two street pods outside made by local company Nomadic Display.

"We have two pods, and in the middle you can have another table as well. I can seat six people at each table, instead of zero," chef and owner Ana Dasilva said.

"They'll be there for years to come as well, giving me the potential of 18 people having dinner outside.

"You want to offer that little bit extra, people are eager to go out and sit down," she added.

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