The premises has been in the Byrne family since the early 1960’s when Helena’s
father, Johnny bought it. Prior to this, the premises had been operating as Cooneys Pub.
The building was then turned into an Electrical business, but Johnny renewed the liquor licence every year for £200. There was always a display of bottled beers and spirits in the Electrical shop, showing the public that there was indeed a licence on the premises. Interestingly if somebody requested a pint of Guinness in the shop, Johnny or his wife Lenore would have to oblige and get the pint for the customer.
In 1999, Johnny and Lenore decided to retire from the retail world, so Helena and her brother Johnny decided to give the Pub business a go, opened the doors of The Local in Nov of that year, operating as a pub only initially.
In the year 2000, The Local began serving soup & sandwiches and quickly became established in Dungarvan Town for quality, taste & flavour and a ‘go-to’ for the busy lunch time trade.
In 2003, Helena & Donnachadh were married
In 2004, Helena and Donnchadh bought the business outright.
In 2005, the addition of a commercial kitchen to The Local allowed the food offering to extend beyond Soup and Sandwiches. The homemade point of difference was as important back then as it is today.
2007 saw the launch of The Winter Sessions on a Tuesday night. Famous names such as Finbarr Furey and Liam Clancy were among numerous talents who featured in these sessions.
2020 saw the launch of The Deise Sessions, a compilation of 19 tracks by Waterford musicians and singers recorded live in The Local.
Later this year, The Local launched a Takeaway Service, as Covid lockdowns hit. The business saw unprecedented challenges when The Local had to close its doors due to the lockdown associated with the Covid 19 pandemic in Ireland. While food was always available to customers during the lunchtime trade prior to this, Helena & Donnachadh began a takeaway service in order to maintain an income.
In 2021 and on the back of unprecedented demand from regular diners post covid, Helena & Donnachadh made the decision extended their serving hours and their menu. Incorporating new additions to the usual menu, daily specials, and a full Tapas menu, and while the business transitioned from pub to restaurant the focus is always about ensuring that all the food that they produce is of the highest quality and sourced locally.
This year also saw a significant outdoor expansion for The Local in Grattan Square, having introduced a new heated outdoor dining area that has now become a focal point in the town square, particularly now as the dark evenings set in – the setup has brought a wonderful inviting atmosphere to the town square.