A BALLYBOFEY man who diversified from the contracting business, to designing and fitting out Irish pubs, hotels and restaurants across the globe, has been hugely successful.
John Heverin returned from Chennai in India last week where the company he owns with Eamonn Cullen – Ól Irish Pubs Ltd – is fitting out a 6,000 sq foot pub which will be completed in 14 days.
John attributes the global success of the company to the quality of the work his mainly Donegal employees do and the fact they can bring it in on time and on the agreed budget. Ól Irish pubs are in business more than 20 years and offer a concept, design and build service which is hugely popular because it delivers.
Speaking to the Donegal News John explained that he grew up on Glenfin Street and went to St Columba’s and then to the ‘tech’ in Derry.
Like many other young men his age he headed for the construction sites in London specialising in period work.
“I started to do hotels and it worked well. In the early day we did the K Club and Kelly’s Hotel here in Ireland before we were asked to do a pub in Buffalo, USA. Then it took off with us getting calls from everywhere to do pubs hotels, restaurants and lobbies.
“We are also doing a pool and spa on the roof of the hotel in Chennai which is a bit unusual. I see a busy future in India as the country is full if entrepreneurs ready to get up and go.
“We fly our team of workers out and there is a no alcohol policy from we leave Dublin until we get back. They will work flat-out for that 14 days but then they will be off for as many days when they get back.
“Many of our carpenters, tilers and painters are from the Downings area.
“We know we are not the cheapest, but we do deliver,” he added.
One of the more unusual pubs they did was a cool garage style pub in Essen in Germany.
They managed to salvage a lot of stuff from an old drugs factory in Limerick which they then redesigned and reused to create the garage look.
They have done work in Latvia, Australia, Russia, Oman, India, at Sandals luxury resorts in St. Lucia, Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada and Barbados, all over the USA.
Both John and Eamonn take a very hands-on approach to each project and are always the main point of contact, from the initial conversation through to build completion.
Their mixed backgrounds in architecture, hospitality and the construction industry ensures that every detail is accounted for.
“Like any real Irish person, we both love a good story and will tease out every element of a client’s pub vision to ensure that expectations are exceeded. We also understand what it is to enjoy your Guinness in the right surroundings,” John added.
Both men pride themselves and their company’s professional reputation on having never missed a deadline or gone over budget on any project.
“This ensures client satisfaction and has resulted in 80 per cent of our business being repeat. We feel that each of our previous clients make better sales reps than ourselves as they always speak volumes of our work,” he added.
John lives near Mullingar and while he has no family living in Ballybofey now, he still supports Finn Harps.