BREAKING NEWS: September opening confirmed for highly-anticipated The Shed Distillery Visitor Experience in Leitrim

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Jobs boost for Leitrim as €1 million Shed Distillery Visitor Centre gets green light

The much anticipated Visitor's Experience at The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo, will open its doors in September

The long-anticipated Shed Distillery Visitor Experience at the home of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin in Drumshanbo Co. Leitrim will open its doors on Thursday 10th September. 

The ambitious €3m experience features a majestic botanical glass house, an extensive visitor journey into the epicentre of the authentic distillery, two separate tasting bars as well as a bright and spacious Café and an exclusive distillery gift shop. 

Owners & founders Pat and Denise Rigney and fellow Director John Dillon hope it will attract 30,000 visitors to the area when fully operational and to create over 20 new jobs when fully operational.

Despite the challenging circumstances resulting from the pandemic, the determination & support of the local community convinced Pat and Denise not to delay the opening.

“It’s very important that we stick to our commitment to open. It’s important for morale, for the relationship with the people of Drumshanbo and Leitrim generally, and all those who backed us.”

“The Shed Distillery and the Visitor Experience represents a partnership with the local community, we are located in The Food Hub, a social enterprise set up by the local community council to create new jobs in the building where Lairds Jam had employed 100 locals, all of whom lost their jobs following its closure.”

“The community built the experience- the builders, architect, electricians, landscapers are all local, their standards are exceptional and the ‘can-do’ approach means they find solutions instead of problems.”

The local team behind the build includes Building contractor Shane Mc Govern (Setia Construction), Enda McKiernan (McKiernan Architects), Landscapers (Ard Carne Garden Centre), Quantity Surveyor Martin Cole (Mulcahy McDonagh & Partners), Ronan Tiernan Electrics and The Sign Warehouse, located at the Foodhub itself.

“Joe Dolan, the owner of the Bush Hotel, is managing the project for us locally, bringing vast expertise across construction, planning, licensing, hiring and keeping everything on track.  This, alongside his unrivalled tourism & hospitality experience, both at local and national level”

“Fergal McPartland, who manages The Food Hub could not have been more supportive in making everything work smoothly and efficiently, from repositioning utility plants, collaborating on landscaping, facilitating signage, access and communicating with stakeholders.”

“His father Noel McPartland, a great friend of the Distillery, has even given us some precious historic photos and artefacts from his Drumshanbo Railway museum to use in the experience.  Councillor Enda McGloin has given so much of his time and counsel to assist us in navigating the entire process.”

The new Visitor Experience and Café heralds ten new jobs initially with plans to grow this number to over 20 by the end of next year. 

Ciara Maxwell has been appointed as the Manager of the new Visitor Experience.  Ciara has an extensive background in the hospitality sector, having worked in iconic establishments including The Shelbourne Hotel and the K-Club before moving to Leitrim over 10 years ago, to work with hotels in the region, most notably for eight years in the 5-star Kilronan Castle on the sales and marketing side.

Cian Wrynne, fellow Leitrim local, brings a wealth of hospitality industry experience to the role of Brand Ambassador and Mixologist, having worked in leading establishments including Lough Rynn Castle, Kilronan Castle and The Shelbourne Hotel across Food & Beverage and hospitality management.

Siobhan Smyth and David Fitzgibbon who ran the popular St. George’s Terrace in Carrick on Shannon will run the Jackalope Café, serving an exceptional range of lunches, meals, homemade baking goods, speciality teas, coffees and juices in surrounds with design and décor as curious as the Jackalope in the Café name.