Heather Restaurant, Gap of Dunloe, Killarney Mecca for local food lovers & artisan food producers opens its doors

Heather Restaurant, Gap of Dunloe, Killarney Mecca for local food lovers & artisan food producers opens its doors

The breath-taking Gap of Dunloe has been a magnet for locals, tourists and day visitors to Killarney for centuries. For half a century the Moriarty family has been welcoming tourists to the store, ‘Moriarty’s, which is located at the entrance to the Gap, just outside of Killarney. What began as a small enterprise by Michael and Margaret Moriarty in 1964, in a “lean-to” attached to the family house, is now home to a 4,000 sq. ft. gift store, one of the finest in Ireland.

To mark the 50th anniversary of this iconic store, a new 1,100 sq ft, 80 seater restaurant called ‘Heather’, has opened its doors just in time for the 2014 season. The development also includes a five acre multi-level garden, with seating areas and viewing points for locals, day trippers and a mix of international tourists to enjoy as part of “The Gap” experience.

Inside the restaurant sees a really well thought-out design. The bright and airy restaurant with vaulted windows overlooks the iconic McGillycuddy Reeks and the multi-level gardens. It also boasts a centre piece log fire, and a beautiful and ornate tree structure that climbs from floor to ceiling and resembles a modern art sculpture. The interior design decadently blends beautifully with the fabulous food that is served at its tables.

Behind the development is the next generation of the family, Denis Pio Moriarty and his wife Ailish. As well as playing a pivotal role in the interior and exterior designs, Denis Pio and Ailish have ensured that all offerings on the menu are sourced from local producers. From the Toonsbridge Buffalo Mozzarella, Melted Kenmare Gouda, Ballinskellings Chicken, Glenbeigh Cockles and Mussels to the Ring of Kerry Lamb Chops, the menu is a name dropping who’s who, as well as a geography lesson, in local artisan food producers!

Ailish stated “Both Denis Pio and I grew up in this very special part of the country in Kerry and we both believe that for our region to be sustained it’s important that we support as many local producers as possible, and we are doing just that with our new restaurant.  We are so lucky to have so many amazing food producers right on our doorstep – many of whom we have gotten to know as they personally deliver their produce to us on a daily basis. As well as The Gap being a Mecca for tourists, through ‘Heather’ we want it now to become a Mecca for more local food lovers and artisan food producers.”

‘Heather’ restaurant is now open and will be in operation seven days a week during the forthcoming summer season.  For further information please see www.moriartys.com.

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