A SPECIAL ‘Democrat Alley’ commemorating this newspaper’s long association with 3 Earl Street will form part of the ongoing revamp of popular local cafe/restaurant Riva Brasserie.
The restaurant, owned by Tim and Bernie Murphy, closed on Monday for extensive renovations and is scheduled to reopen this Saturday with a completely new look.
Riva Brasserie has become synonymous with Earl Street in recent years but for much of its history the iconic building they now reside in was home to The Dundalk Democrat, this area’s longest established newspaper.
The front of the building still carries the old Democrat logo, which was specially preserved by Dundalk Town Council a number of years back to commemorate the paper’s contribution to the town.
The Murphys have also long cherished the paper’s former association with the building and Tim told The Dundalk Democrat this week that it had long been his and Bernie’s intention to perform some sort of tribute to the newspaper within the restaurant.
“We had been intending to have a Democrat wall but that’s no longer possible as the wall we had earmarked for it is being affected by the revamp,” said Tim.
“The original idea we had was for a Democrat alley with a sign over it and that’s what we’re going to go along with now.”
The alley will be located at the rear of the restaurant and will include a number of old Democrat memorabilia including iconic newspapers from the past and photgraphs of former staff, many donated and others purchased from legendary local photographer Paul Kavanagh.
Tim said: “The Democrat was always very much about the community and the people and it was a very Dundalk thing.
“This tribute will give the people who worked there an opportunity to say this is where they worked and to remember the good times they had in the building.”