Fenton White, Leo Flanagan and Michael Delaney outside their new restaurant, Jolly Boys, in Ballymahon
In the midst of the pandemic, when countless businesses are closing their doors permanently, three local lads have plenty of reason to be jolly, as does the wider Ballymahon community.
Fenton White, Leo Flanagan and Michael Delaney opened their new restaurant, Jolly Boys, in the south Longford town two weeks ago and business has gotten off to a flying start.
Best of all, the new business has provided 15 full-time and part-time jobs for the local area.
“We have been blown away with the response since we opened on the 15th from everyone locally as well as the county in general,” Michael told the Longford Leader last week.
“The support is greatly appreciated. Opening a new business in a scenario like we are in is challenging but so far it’s very encouraging. No one is going to forget 2020 in a hurry so we ended up incorporating it onto the Jolly Boys logo.”
The new restaurant is located in the building formerly occupied by fine dining restaurant, the Nine Arches, which sadly closed its doors earlier this year due to Covid-19.
“Like everyone in Ballymahon we were saddened to see such a terrific eatery close down but when the option was there we went for it, and we are very happy to be working with the owner of the building John Nally, to maximise the potential of the site,” said Michael.
“Leo previously established and ran the Pizza business at Dead Centre Brewing Athlone, which won Gastro Pub of the year for Westmeath 2019.
“We all felt that there was an opening for something slightly different to what is on offer currently and, from that, Jolly Boys was born.
“It’s casual dining for dine-in with beers and wines as part of the offering, but with a strong focus on takeaway and delivery also.”
Under current Covid-19 restrictions, takeaway options are important for those who want to enjoy the luxury of a restaurant dinner in a time when going to a restaurant is impossible.
The menu includes handmade pizza using 48-hour proofed dough and the finest of local ingredients.
“As well as pizzas we are offering an extensive burger menu along with chicken dishes, starters and desserts. We have plans to add to the menu in the new year,” Michael explained.
“We have placed great emphasis on sourcing local produce of the highest quality and we hope that people see this reflected in the quality of our food.
“We are using Louis Herterich’s, Longford and Pigs on the Green, Tullamore for our beef, hams and speciality meats. There are many gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options also.”
And the local support goes further than just the food, Michael added.
“We are very happy to be collaborating with our friends at Wide Street Brewery, Ballymahon, for our own draft, Jolly Boys Pale Ale, as well as our friends at St Mel’s Longford for a selection of quality IPAs and lagers. All locally produced, all top quality.”
Jolly Boys Pizza + Grill is open seven days a week from 3pm to 11.30pm and is currently offering takeaway options.
For more information, see Jolly Boys on Facebook or visit www.jollyboys.ie.