Ireland Premier Hospitality

Cathedral Bar, Grill & Smokehouse

The Cathedral, Maynooth
Written by Roma Publications

The Cathedral, Maynooth

Cathedral Bar, Grill & Smokehouse is soon to open in Maynooth after a five month renovation project.

Previously home to Mantra bar and nightclub the 30,000 square foot venue has been transformed into a multifunctional bar, dining and late night experience.

The new venture will provide 80 new jobs for the area and will inject an estimated €2 million into the local economy.

Premier Hospitality caught up with the venue’s owner Darryl Kavanagh to find out more about the scheme. Darryl commented:

“The nightclub scene has fizzled out completely in Ireland and we noticed this at Mantra. The bar downstairs and nightclub upstairs were attracting different crowds and were conflicting so in October 2014 I decided to get rid of the nightclub and refit the whole place.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

“We completely gutted the venue, took out the centre of the floor on the ground floor and fitted a grand staircase to bring both floors into one large venue.  We are now set to open on the 12th June.”

Working alongside main contractors ACC Contracts and award winning architect Drew Henry the team began works on site at the end of February this year.

The two storey venue now boasts a brand new design and layout centred around the impressive grand staircase, located in the middle of the ground floor. The bar wraps around the staircase on the ground floor and is elaborately decorated with a plethora of reclaimed features and 19th century relics.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

Darryl commented:

“Everything that has been used has been reclaimed from churches and hospitals and so the space features chunky and detailed timber work, which is mind-blowing when you walk in. The design was my concept and so I was confident it would work well; but I never realised just how well it would work and now the features fit the building really well.

“The venue also boasts 8000 square feet of unique garden spaces across two floors, as well as a 60 foot waterfall in the garden, which is one of the largest in Europe.”

The 8000 square foot tropical garden oasis is the ideal haven for connoisseurs of whiskey, cocktails, fine wines and champagnes. Award winning Head Barman Martin Holec is well known for his flamboyant flaming inventions. Cathedral has also commissioned the brewing of its own premium lager beer from the local Rye River Brewing Company, which is an exciting development for beer enthusiasts in the area.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

Guests entering the venue will be wowed by the grand staircase and large, detailed columns that are cut into the staircase. The columns comprise timber statues on the top of them which stretch up to the building’s ceiling.

Cathedral also comprises a kitchen on its ground floor where award winning Head Chef Austin Byrne,  who previously worked at Trocadero Restaurant in Dublin, will be cooking up signature dishes for diners.

Austin has trained under Michelin Star legends such as Marco Pierre White and has 26 years experience in the restaurant trade. Along with popular food offerings the asador grill smokehouse and BBQ’s are geared up to produce delectable meat planks with distinctive wood-smoked flavours from the venue’s two kitchens.

Each of the venue’s two gardens contains an impressive garden bar providing an idyllic setting for customers to enjoy their food and drink.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

This project did not involve major construction works as Darryl made the building structurally sound in 2009 when he first opened Mantra. The building was originally 5000 square feet and was used as a ballroom, hotel and copachhouse dating back to 1777; when Darryl bought the property he extended it by 25,000 square feet to allow for a larger, more multifunctional nightclub and bar space.

A steel frame was also erected to support the old building to ensure that there would never be any structural issues.

The only structural works during this project were undertaken in the new part of the building and involved part of the floor being cut out to make room for the staircase.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

Darryl said it has been fantastic to see the venue revamped and transformed into what is now Ireland’s largest garden bar Cathedral. He added:
“Last year we had a very close look at what was going on in the hospitality scene in Ireland and we saw that the nightclub scene wasn’t working any more. With this in mind we looked at what was working and took it to another level; we have tried to tick every box with this business by including a food, bar, music and late night offering.

“We now have different events on every night which is very exciting. The venue brings something new to the country; I have opened 11 bars in the past 20 years and have always tried to do something different. Cathedral is a venue that is the most outside of the box of all the venues I have ever done.”

The Cathedral, Maynooth

Delaney’s Bespoke Furniture

 Delaney’s Bespoke Furniture is a family-run business, specialising in the craft and installation of bespoke furniture, who pride themselves in creating unique furniture of banquet seating, lounge and dining chairs, curtains, bar fronts, stools including outdoor furniture. Tom Delaney, Director of Delaney’s Bespoke Furniture states that “it is our goal to provide each customer with their own unique style of furniture. Experience is our strength and we have completed major projects, crafting hand-made pieces for discerning clients across Ireland and Europe, utilising traditional techniques to achieve a truly unique level of intricacy and elegance.”

Tom says that Delaney’s Bespoke Furniture conceive, craft and care for bespoke modern and classic furniture which is unique in design and unmatched in quality. The company works in close partnership with numerous national and international clients – providing a range of products and services which meet the clients’ needs and budgetary requirements and has just completed the full furniture refurbishment of the Cathedral Bar, Grill & Smokehouse.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

Tom said: “We believe we are very competitive and where others manufacture furniture, we craft it. Our mission is to personally craft furniture and customer relationships that we’re proud enough to put our family name to.

“We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, our accessibility to our customers and our after sales service. We believe bespoke is better.”

Please feel free to visit the Delaney’s Bespoke Furniture website at:

Drew Henry

Drew Henry has provided bespoke commercial interior design for pubs, restaurants and hotels for over two decades for some of the most prestigious venues across the UK.

Henry’s marriage of original and modern features creates a sense of authenticity and style. His wealth of experience informs his understanding of spatial function and pragmatism. When combined with his flair for lighting, fabrics, upholstery and furnishings, the final product is an elegant and practical space that gives the eye food for thought.

The Cathedral, Maynooth

His trade experience and hands-on approach provide a professional service which comes in on time and to budget. Henry believes the key to successful project management is a collaborative approach; with transparency and accountability from kick-off to launch.

Henry’s portfolio is best demonstrated within the sights, smells and sounds of his designs. Should you wish to experience them you may seek out the following: Benedicts, Belfast; Kellys, Portrush; Currans Bar & Seafood Steakhouse, Ardglass; Maginns, Castlewellan. Previous projects have also included The Opera, Marys, Magherafelt; and Bellinis, Newry. Henry is currently proud to be undertaking the re-launch of the new ‘Cathedral, Bar, Grill and Smokehouse’ in Maynooth.

Henry Designs offers interior design, project management and design consultancy for pubs, restaurants and hotels. Should you wish to get in touch for a consultation please call 07974222363 or email

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