A long established Portlaoise restaurant has permanently closed its doors from the impact of Covid-19.
Tynan's at the Storeyard in Kea Lew Park was run by chef Imelda Tynan, brother of the late great Laois chef and cookery book author Jim Tynan of Jim's Country Kitchen. Imelda and Jim both were former food columnists with the Leinster Express.
She made her announcement on Thursday, June 25.
"It is with great sadness I am confirming that Tynan's Restaurant will not re-open at The Storeyard.
"Regrettably, the implications of the Covid-19 restrictions on the food industry has made it neither feasible or possible for me to continue in business. The profound changing food landscape requires significant space requirements to continue to work safely with my cooking style which unfortunately I did not have.
"After seven and a half very happy years creating and building Tynan's, this was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I couldn't have worked everyday without the support of my fantastic dedicated team whose commitment and hard work was scaffolded by their wonderfully unique brand of laughter, regular mischief and collegiality.
"I was very fortunate to enjoy very loyal customers and friends who supported me resolutely along the way. In total, I’ve worked for 34 years in the food business in Portlaoise where I’ve met so many good people and made many great friends. I always looked forward to meeting everybody and I’m saddened not to have been able to say goodbye to many of you in person.
"My passion for cooking will never leave me and I have no immediate plans now beyond finalising my business commitments and enjoying being with my family for the moment. Thank you to everybody for your support and best wishes. My kindest regards and appreciation to you all, Imelda," Ms Tynan said.
Her announcement is met with widespread sadness, with over 1,000 reactions to her Facebook post, including from employee Regina Hetherington.
"As a staff member worked with imelda and Jimmy since I was 15 we have had many happy memories in tynans never thought the day we finished up that we would never be back again will miss my work family so much," she wrote.
"There will be a hole in my tummy and hole in my heart. Undoubtly the best restaurant Portalaoise has ever had from Jim in the Country Kitchen to Tynans in the Store Yard. No words !! We wish you all the best in future and will miss your warm hospitality and delicious food❤️❤️❤️," wrote Marian Augustine.
"So sorry to hear this Imelda but I've no doubt its not the end for you. You and Jim and all the gang made such an impact on everybody that crossed the threshold from the days upstairs in Church Street to Hynds Square and then your fabulous spot in the Storeyard!! Wishing you the very best and enjoy this time with your family x," wrote Bernadette Dunne.
Laois Arts Officer Muireann also sent her wishes.
"I'm very sorry to read this Imelda. The Tynan family were legends in their own lunchtimes. With you Jim and the crew in town centre and then up to the Store Yard. We will miss you. Thanks for the great service provided down the years".