Tomás O’Reilly and team at Fika33.

Fika opens for evenings out

2023 has been an eventful year for Tomás O’Reilly. The Killeshandra business man who has been running Fika33 cafe at his parents’ former business, reopened the Shamrock Bar just in time for St Patrick’s Day and followed that up with extending their dining options. Along the way the business also short-listed for the Cavan Business & Tourism Awards (see the supplement.)

“We had the cafe going, and the pub going and in the last month we have got another chef and started serving evening food on the weekends,” he said, adding they have a great staff.

The cafe continues to operate Thursday through to Sunday from 9am to late afternoon. Evening dining begins from early evening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The menu is brimming with firm favourites.

“We have steaks, burgers, fish, goujons, and vegetarian curry - something for everyone. Whoever comes in, there is something for them, and it is reasonably priced.”

He reports business is going “pretty good” but notes a tough trading environment.

“It’s very tough out there,” he says noting the impact of VAT hikes, and impending wage increases leave minimal margins. “It’s tough on businesses like ours - everyone is struggling.”

He suggests government take action to support and sustain the hospitality trade in small rural towns as the health of Killeshandra is the wider picture Tomás has in mind.

“We’re trying to add something different and get more people into town. We get a great kick out of seeing people coming in and enjoying themselves,” he says.

“We were hoping it would see other businesses start up, and there have been a few businesses changing hands. We had the new pub [Kelly’s] opening last weekend - it’s great. Everyone is saying it’s giving Killeshandra a new lease of life now - the more the merrier.”

He notes guests of Cabu in Killyeen are increasingly frequent visitors to the town, as are weekend cyclists passing through Killeshandra. It all adds to the sense that Killeshandra may be turning a corner, and Tomás’s business is a major impetus in that.

“It’s simply providing a place for people to meet - if they want to come in for their breakfast or come in for an evening meal, they can.

“I have found that people are coming in on a Saturday night for a meal, and then going onto the far side for a few drinks and enjoy themselves.”

Tomás wishes his staff and customers and everyone in Killeshandra a merry Christmas.