The Build So Far

Time for a much-needed update on how things have been progressing since we finally broke ground in March earlier this year. Time has flown by and many things are now in the rear-view mirror. From now on, we plan to update this blog section more regularly to provide updates on the project as we get closer to Day 1.

We recently passed the 6-month mark since construction work started and things are getting very real!

Below are some images of the progress…from a green field to the site for Driftwood with an incredible view for all to enjoy!

Perfectly Parked.

Forming the new entrance into Driftwood.

Heading South.

Site getting cleared and levelled ahead of excavations for foundations.

Mammoth earthworks!

Moody Skies out West!

The shovel.

Foundations poured!

Long day on site comes to a close.

Sand, glorious sand!

Preparations for the subfloor and erection of the steelwork columns.

Getting ready for the drainage pipework

Nice and flat.

Rising blockwork.

Getting things ready for framing.

Little and large.

Powerful day for it.

Some of the first visitors to the site.

Will you want pepper with that Sir?

Planning the path.

Progress being made.

Not too shabby…

View up to the old church ruins at Keel.

The big blue.

Walls at last!

Long June evenings.

Steelwork beams are in and the building is taking shape.

The progress continues.

Mixer has a lot of work done over the past few months.


Where are things on site as we write this blog?

The roof deck is in and the roof membrane is due to be completed in the coming days with the windows and doors to be installed over the next 2 weeks. Getting the building closed in and watertight in the coming weeks will be a huge milestone for us and something we are really looking forward to!

Driftwood – The Design for the Building.

The design is something we have carefully considered and planned for a number of years. Meeting with the planners early on in the process was key. The design of the building has been influenced by the planning authority and ultimately compromises were required to obtain planning permission given the sensitivities of the site and it’s elevation. Let’s just say that patience is most definitely a virtue.

The front elevation of the building has been designed to maximise the views to the Skelligs, Duchala and Bolus head to the South West and Puffin Island slightly further West but also while offering a sheltered terrace area at the front. We will have full length glazing along the front complemented with local stone to blend the building into its natural surroundings most notably with the ruins and striking stone bell tower of Keel Church and graveyard to the rear of the site.

An early revision of the floor plan.

Driftwood will have a main eating dining area, a snug area with a fireplace and a small shop. The interior design will showcase the history of the Glen and share some of the folklore from down through the years. More on this in future blogs 🙂

We want customers who visit Driftwood to experience the best of what the Glen and South West Kerry have to offer. Fresh, seasonal food whilst enjoying views that are good for the soul.

Getting to where we are now, jumping through the planning permission hoops, raising finance with banks, dealing with legal hurdles, setting up a company, understanding licensing requirements, picking accountants brains on tax and VAT etc – this is only skimming the surface! All great craic dealing with and we certainly have learnt a lot along the way but you have got to get to Day 1 before you can get to Year 1 and we will learn a lot as we go. Designing and building from scratch is one thing but throw in planning out a commercial kitchen layout 18 months before you open your doors so you can finalise architectural drawings, so EHO can approve, to allow you to define a budget and create a workable floor plan for kitchen and front of house staff, to  ensure water pipes and power services ducts are installed where you need them long before the concrete sub floor is poured was a challenge to say the least. (& breathe :)) – To which some say, have you got your chef? Ah, no – not yet. Watch this space but if you are interested in working with us or know someone who might be interested, then please get in touch!

The terrace area at the front (Note that the furniture shown is purely for layout and representation purposes)

The team working on Driftwood are:

  • Main contractor – Martin O’Sullivan (Sulbar construction)
  • Architect: Tadhg Casey Architects
  • Structural Engineers – Malachy Walsh and Partners
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers: John Kelleher & Associates
  • Civil Engineering and Drainage – Liam Brosnan Engineering Services
  • Glazing – Alubuild Ireland

Thanks again for stopping by and we look forward to providing more updates in the coming weeks and months!

Carl & Jenny