Rory Allen and Joleen Cronin

Hard to believe that Nash 19 is just 19 years “old”. It is so much part of Cork City that we assume it has been there for decades.

The name was almost accidental. Claire Nash had to come up with a name for company registration purposes in double quick time. She noted the street number on the paperwork and was inspired to add it to her own name and hence Nash 19.

Little did she know that 19 Princes Street would go on to become one of city’s favourite restaurants. The esteem in which Clare, her staff and her restaurant are held was very evident on Friday night at the 19th anniversary bash, attended by our 200 people including Lord Mayor Cllr Terry Shannon.

 The restaurant has seen a big increase in size since its opening day and other services (eg shop, food to go, catering services and so on) have been added. Read all about it here 

Despite the place being packed, we had a terrific night, with some great little dishes, starting with early season Galway Oysters. Many of her local producers (who are grateful for her encouragement) were present.

The English Market is a regular call for Nash 19 and representatives from here included O’Connell’s Fish and Tom Durcan. Kanturk’s ebullient butcher Jack McCarthy was in top form, kept on his toes by son Timmy, an able dealer himself and well able to match the rapid fire quips from Jack.

Spoke too to Evening Echo editor Maurice Gubbins, there with a party from Fermoy. Kinsale PR ace Jackie Dawson, daughter of the famous international Ronnie, was looking forward to the rugby game on Sunday.

Speaking of internationals, had a terrific chat with Sinead Gunnigan who recalled her trips to soccer internationals (when Jack Charlton was in charge) with her late uncle John, a great man for local soccer in Cork and well known in the drinks business in which he worked.

Sinead was attending the event with her husband Gerry, the Mayoman who heads up the Liberty Wines  operation in Ireland, and he was obviously very happy with the way their  Ca dei Frati (Lugana) was flying. Some good wine in Nash 19 and before we left, Claire treated us to a glass of smashing Turkey Flat Butchers Block (Shiraz/ Grenache & Mouvèdre) from the Barossa – great stuff.

No need for any major formalities on this happy occasion. Claire, who was supported on the night by family members, spoke as did local food pioneer Myrtle Allen. Rory Allen was another Ballymaloe man at the party and he was in top form as was restaurateur and photographer Joleen Cronin from Crosshaven.

While we were enjoying the party, the Nash 19 staff were busy, busy. As always, their usual efficiency and courtesy shone through. Claire herself regularly praises her team and they are a credit to her. I did have time for a small chat with key staff members Mairéad O’Brien and Pamela Kelly. Both were in top form.

All good things come to an end. That was true of the party but Nash 19 itself looks like going on and on. Let’s raise a glass of Ca dei Frati or Butchers Block  to another 19 years.