Local Focus: Gather, Tuam

Gather is on the former site of the Italian restaurant, Bia Bella. Close to Tuam Shopping Centre and the N17, it is a short walk from the centre of town.  It is a family concern - sisters Siobhan and Aoife Flaherty are Head Chef and Front of House respectively while brother Darragh is the Assistant Manager.

It has only been open since December, but it is already making a name for itself as a destination restaurant.

“I had my own restaurant An Sciobol (The Barn) in Monivea from 2005-8 before going off travelling for a few years when the recession hit,” says Siobhan.

“When I came back I worked in Il Vicolo (where Aoife was also involved) but after I became a mother, the commute to Galway from my home village of Abbeyknockmoy just got too much. I went to school in Tuam and I knew there was a niche for Gather. People from the town and the outskirts were travelling to Galway city to eat out and there was nowhere for families to eat brunch on Sundays.”

[pull_quote_center]Trade is great in the evenings and on Sundays, but Saturdays during the day are a little bit slower. That is probably because we are that little bit out of the town centre. That said, we are relieved that there is a market for what we do. People are much more aware of food provenance these days and they are willing to pay that little bit extra for free range meat and locally sourced produce.[/pull_quote_center]

One of the most popular dishes on the evening menu is the Castlemine pork belly. Other offerings might include monkfish in White Hag batter with orange aioli and pickled beetroot. Children might have fish goujons with mash and vegetables followed by fresh fruit salad with velvet cloud sheep’s milk yoghurt from Claremorris.

Siobhan says the menus are going down well, but she notices that customers tend to all book at once, eat fairly quickly and then move onto a pub.

“There is a wine and beer licence and we are looking into extending that into a full bar licence to entice people to stay longer.

“There is a great space upstairs for family celebrations and group nights out. We have a neighbourhood menu on mondays which is our version of an early bird. It is €19 for two courses and €24 for three from 5-7pm.

“We are planning a Fermentation Night soon.  It fits with our whole philosophy and the name Gather comes from our desire to bring together the best ingredients we can and to do them justice.”

[quote_box_center]For more information, visit www.gatherrestaurant.ie[/quote_box_center]

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