Taylors of Johnstown

In the past few months the venue has undergone a transformation and has returned to a thriving venue. The past decade has been a real challenge with the 'economy crash' hitting the business hard and the Courtyard Bar struggling to remain open.

A renewed lease of life came in April 2016 when news first broke that the venue had been bought by The Taylors Brand, well known for their Taylors Three Rock venue.

Six months after opening and we follow up with the Johnstown staff to see what has changed.

The Bar

We started by talking first with the Bar Manager, John O'Brien, who has been one of the familiar faces for the past 6 years.

A familiar face at the bar counter.

What was your reaction a year ago at the news of a new owner?

"There were quite a few days of uncertainty since we didn't know what would happen. Now we're delighted to see the changes and that we have some job security and business is doing well."

What's changed in six months?

"From day one the new owners invested in the property. The new 'Taylors of Johnstown' illuminated signage announced the change of ownership and new branding." 

Have we now finally lost 'The Courtyard' name?

"Yes, It's taken a while for the taxis to adapt to the new name but clients caught on really quickly. The new signage helps make it a noticeable difference and it stands out at night to tell everyone of the change."

The outside changed and has been looked after.

"First impressions really do count. It was a great opening statement and such a simple idea. It's made such a huge difference and a lot of people have commented on how good the refreshed flower bed along the entrance looks together with colourful window and hanging baskets in the good weather. "

You've had some extra help lately.

"Keeping it litter free has been helped tremendously by the Johnstown Tidy Towns group. We're very happy to be involved in supporting them in their efforts. They're helping us so we're delighted to say thank you for their hard work."

What changes have taken place inside?

"Although the whole area hasn't changed significantly its been painted and updated including the side beer garden which will be popular when the weather improves."

The Lounge Bar reopened.

Lounge Entertainment 

Is business increasing?

"Definitely, the bar has always attracted those watching the sporting games and there's still a good turn out for those events like the football, recent horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival and the Rugby. We've now got regular live music, entertainment and promotional events"

We've seen a few large groups and families return too?

"We knew that we couldn't attract families without opening up the Lounge Bar and offering meals again."

"We're well aware of the lack of Community space within Johnstown and are happy to be of help. We've had visits from Neighbourhood Watch, Resident Associations, Tidy Towns and School Parent groups host meetings in the quite area of the lounge. With the schools so close there's often a  morning gathering of parents in the lounge area for breakfast or coffee."

The live music sessions are getting more and more popular.

"It's great to see bands playing each weekend in the Lounge Bar and people are getting to know that we only book great musicians. Some of the members are local and so it's great to be able to support them. The Jones proved to be one of the most popular bands."

See what's on this month.

"We also have weekend drinks promotions to tempt the local residents and they're coming to see what's on. The cocktails will prove to be even more popular when the weather improves"

You're now hosting Musical Bingo too.

"Salina's Musical Bingo is proving to be a great success drawing in a regular crowd on a Wednesday evening. I'm often listening in to try and remember the bands being played."

Lounge Meals

Food is often at the heart of a busy vibrant venue and to find out more about the Taylors Menu's we spoke with John Hopen the Restaurant Manager.

Is it the restaurant proving to be a success?

"Yes Taylors is getting busier and we now have 24 staff involved to keep up with demand. The residents and business' around us have been very supportive and we've been adapting our daily specials to provide what the customers want."

"We've new menu's out now and we're looking forward to seeing how well they are received."

What time is food served?

"Initially we started with lunch and early evening meals until 8pm and then a few months ago we included breakfast from 9am."

"We also provide Take Away and online ordering during the same times"

At the time of going to press Taylors are just about to change their menus, we've updated their Breakfast and Lunch menus and will provide an update as and when they reveal the new a la carte menus.
Taylors Food Menu

What feedback have you received?

"There are now quite a few reviews on Trip Advisor and over 90% of our Facebook Page reviews give us 5 stars. We're always wanting to improve and we we've found the right chef, the right menu and our welcoming and friendly staff provide customers with the meals and service that they'll continue to come back for."

How would you describe the style of food on the menu?

"It's aimed to provide something for everyone ranging from traditional gourmet burgers to delicate fish and tasty dishes."

Is there anything that people really crave?

"The beef ribs are very popular and together with gourmet burgers and pan fried hake they make up our best sellers."

"The children are loving the chicken curry, sausages and chicken bites.... and of course ice cream."

"The chocolate desserts are always a winner too with the adults." 

Who's your chef?

"Ian Dowling, from Navan, joined us having previously worked at the Silver Tankard and the Headford Golf Club."

Are you in competition with 'Fifty50' upstairs?

"Not all all since we serve food from 9am through to 8pm and they begin at 5.30pm till late. We both offer different menus and dining experience. Customers often start with us for pre dinner drinks or come down after their meals and it's working well for both of us."

To see if a venue is popular you only need to look to see people eating and to ask them .... so we did.

A good sign is to see the kitchen staff calm and controlled in their work: Ian, Ewelina and Peter

Silvia and Alan had tasted Head Chef Ian's cooking previously at the Silver Tankard and the Headford Golf Club and so it seams he has attracted a following of his own.

Paul & Darren from the Priory take in a quick lunch.

Having not visited since it was 'The Courtyard', Victoria and Dmitrij from Athlumney Wood taste the Chicken Curry and Caesar Salad ...... we think they'll be back again.

A family visit from Jennifer, Luke, Mia and Maria came from a local recommendation. 

Annette and Wendy had been before and highly recommend the Chowder and Cheesecake.

Social Media

Online marketing is gaining it's place and social media can be a great tool to engage with the neighbourhood. 

You recently ran a meal prize draw during the Cheltenham Races.

"Yes, we offered breakfast for 2 during as a daily prize draw during that week and consistently gained around 100 entries each time. Our breakfasts are very popular and the winners were all local people."

"There'll be future promotions and offers to those who follow our Facebook Page."

'Taylors of Johnstown' Facebook Page has gained over 2,400 followers and 610 check ins and that's a large percentage of the local adult population showing an interest in what Taylors can provide. Let's hope they now use their feet to come into the venue too and here's another great offer:

Bonus Prize Draw

To raise their Facebook Page profile Taylors of Johnstown have offered to DOUBLE the Prize Draw and offer 2 winning prizes of a *meal for 2 if Facebook users raise their page likes to over 3,000. 

*Prize includes 2 starter, 2 main course (excludes steak) and 2 deserts, excluding drinks and only valid for use within the month of May.

Find out more about Taylors:




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