14 June 2016
By Elaine Murphy
One of the most dramatic changes to the city’s streetscape last year, the creation of pop-up park adjacent to Reardens on Washington Street, is set to reopen again this coming Friday, 17th of June.
“Little Cross Street” is the name of the small side street that seperates the Reardens complex from the Redbrick Courthouse Chambers building.
The outdoor venue, called “Orchard Grove”, is set to establish itself as one of Munster’s most vibrant early evening entertainment destinations, offering music and live events 7 evenings a week from its launch this week to the Guinness Jazz weekend in October.
The extensive Live@OrchardGrove Programme for Summer/Autumn includes entertainment ranging from trad to country rock, folk, sport and comedy from 7-9pm Monday to Thursday, 5-9.30pm on Fridays , sports on Saturdays and 6-8pm on Sundays.
Orchard Grove is part of Rearden’s Group and their investment in this venture is “a demonstration of confidence in Cork and in the potential of the entertainment and hospitality industry here”.
MD of the Reardens Group, Paul Montgomery said: “This initiative is unique to Cork and will add an interesting and engaging addition to what we offer both locals and tourists alike.” Speaking of how the idea first came about, Mr Montgomery said that the in-house team at Reardens were constantly looking for new and exciting ways to build momentum in the trade. He added “I also have to acknowledge the critical role of the City Council in this initiative. It would have been so easy to say ‘No’ but the management there saw the potential in what we were trying to do and were willing to allow us to test”
Orchard Grove is one of a number of novel initiatives that has been rolled out in Cork in the past 24 months. “Cork Cashes Out, the Purple Flag Designation and Oliver Plunkett Street recently being declared the best street in Ireland and the UK, all demonstrate how pro-active and vibrant the business community, in collaboration with the City Council, can be. These ideas just simply will not work without the help and support of our public bodies and, in particular the management of An Garda Siochana here in Cork”, Montgomery said.
It is hoped that Orchard Grove will offer an added attraction to visitors visiting the many historic locations along the city’s Medieval Spine. The trail already includes such landmarks as St FinBarres Cathedral, Elizabeth Fort, the new Nano Nagle Exhibition, Triskel Christchurch, The 1916 Commemorative Centre at St Peters Church, the Butter Museum and St Annes Shandon.