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Crafty Fox's finds way to keep locals fed and watered

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Shauna Mullen of Johnnie Fox's takes orders online

Shauna Mullen of Johnnie Fox's takes orders online

Kaitlin McMahon delivers to Patricia Fitzachary

Kaitlin McMahon delivers to Patricia Fitzachary

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Shauna Mullen of Johnnie Fox's takes orders online

For the first time in more than two centuries, patrons can no longer enjoy a meal and a drink at 'Ireland's highest pub' due to Covid-19.

However, that hasn't stopped the owners of Johnnie Fox's pub in Glencullen from bringing its fare down from the Dublin mountains.

The popular pub and restaurant has been in operation since 1798 and the only time it was forced to close its doors was for three days during the 'Beast from the East' blizzard in 2018.

Comfort

Instead of shuttering its doors due to the pandemic, the establishment set up its 'At Home' delivery service on April 9.

Since then it has been delivering around a hundred partially-cooked chilled meals a day, which customers can finish off at home

For a €3.50 delivery charge to anywhere in Dublin, Bray and Enniskerry, patrons have been ordering bottles of beer and wine and "family comfort food" favourites, such as beef and Guinness pie, and chowder - all while adhering to social-distancing guidelines, according to business manager Kaitlin McMahon.

Whether its for people who are growing tired of their own cooking during the lockdown, or couples who want a special 'date night' meal, the concept is not only keeping the business afloat during these challenging times, it is keeping people in their jobs, she said.

"The whole purpose is to keep people in employment," she said.

While 74 staff remain in limbo with the normal operations on hold, 11 staff are currently employed in the takeaway service, with another 12 due to come on stream later this week.

The lack of traffic means it takes less than half an hour to drive from Glencullen to Dublin 1, Ms McMahon said.

"And the further out we get, the more staff we can bring in," she added.

Meanwhile, The Brock Inn in Broughan, north Co Dublin, is also running a drive-through meal service, in which staff push pre-ordered meals down a chute to the customer.

Drivers can pull up and retrieve their food while observing social distancing, using online orders and contactless payment.