By Sarah O’Brien
LIMERICK actor Kevin Kiely Jnr. is set to open a new vegan and vegetarian restaurant in his home town this December.
The Old Fire Station Restaurant, located at 35 Thomas Street, is to become an alternative “chill-out space” to Limerick’s pub and nightclub scene.
The restaurant, named after the old fire station, is currently undergoing renovations and its owners estimate it will seat close to 50 people.
Speaking about the opening, the actor told the Limerick Voice:
“Everyone will be welcome at the restaurant, we’ll be offering a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere where people can come to chat, have a coffee and play a bit of piano if they wish.”
Kevin, along with his business partners Sean and Marci McNamara are intent on curating an “international menu, consisting of only the best seasonal, fresh food”, as well as offering vegan-friendly craft beers in association with Limerick’s Treaty City Breweries.
Items on the Old Fire Station’s menu are to include: avocado toasties, sautéed mushroom on sourdough bread and baked potato with homemade horse chestnut salad.
The restaurant will also be implementing a policy of offering customers free porridge until 12pm every day.
This is down to the local actor’s belief that many people, especially those dieting, are under-carbed and therefor lacking energy and vitality. He feels that starting the day with a solid breakfast is crucial to addressing that:
“Our porridge will be made with a nut free, dairy alternative”, the Limerick man added.
Though predominantly a vegan restaurant, the Old Fire Station will seek to offer an inclusive atmosphere suitable for everyone, irrespective of their dietary choices.
“You don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to come in and try our food. Our aim is to challenge people’s palettes, not intimidate them. The last thing we want to do is become the vegan police”, Mr Kiely stressed.
Kevin, who has featured in Hollywood blockbusters such as World War Z and The Dark Knight Rises, turned to veganism three years ago in a bid to become fitter and healthier.
He credits his transition to a vegan lifestyle as having enabled him to achieve this:
“The plant-based lifestyle just suits the body”, he said.
The Old Fire Station restaurant will be open 7 days a week from 8am to 11pm, with extended opening hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, serving all meals.
“We just want to offer people a place to come, with a great atmosphere and menu, that isn’t focused on fast food”, Kevin Kiely Jnr. added.
The opening of the Old Fire Station restaurant is a reflection of the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan cuisine in Limerick.
Limerick’s first vegetarian restaurant The Grove Veggie Kitchen on Cecil Street has been serving home made vegetarian, vegan and gluten free foods for 30 years while The Bubble Cafe on Rutland Street also offers vegan and coeliac friendly menu choices.