Hooked Sligo Celebrates 1st Year with a Note of Caution

Hooked Restaurant in Sligo is celebrating its first birthday this November, having won a host of awards over the past 12 months.

Anthony Gray’s second restaurant in Sligo town has been named the Bord Bia Just Ask Restaurant of the Year, Best Newcomer of the Year at the Yes Chef Awards, and Best Newcomer in Connaught in the Irish Restaurant Awards, amongst other wins. Included in the John & Sally McKenna Guide for 2019, the restaurant has earned the praise of critics.

“It’s been an amazing first year in business at Hooked, despite the unexpected challenges thrown at us by the recent budget,” said Anthony Gray, owner of both Hooked and Eala Bhán, who is past president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

“Our loyalty is to our wonderful customers and to my native town Sligo. However all is not rosy in the hospitality industry and we have seen a dramatic turndown in the number of visitors from the north due to the devaluation of sterling. Now we are facing unchartered waters with Brexit looming. These are worrying times for all of us.”

Anthony Gray remains positive and pledges to support local business. “We will continue to support local producers and suppliers to help them get through these tough times too. I welcome the new venues which have recently opened in Sligo. They give much needed jobs and demonstrate the positive spirit which makes Sligo stand out from other towns.”

He continued with an upbeat comment, saying: “We will rise above the VAT rate change and any other obstacles put in our way. Our customers can depend on us for the best atmosphere, the best service and of course the best food.”

Anthony Gray and Head Chef Joe McGlynn are launching new menus to coincide with the birthday. It’s all still the best of Sligo and local produce and sausages and burgers made to Anthony’s father Joe Gray’s recipes take pride of place. Highlights on the new menus include The Hooked ultimate Irish breakfast brioche bap (Kelly’s white pudding with two jumbo Joe Gray sausages, poached free range egg, Feeney’s streaky bacon and Hooked homemade tomato chutney), and the 12 hour slow cooked pork belly (marinated in a sticky secret sauce served with Hooked salad, homemade slaw and hand cut fries).

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