Riva Brasserie of Earl Street, Dundalk scooped a prestigious prize from The Irish Hospitality Awards 2018 recently.
Keith Agnew, owner of Riva Brasserie, caught up with the Dundalk Democrat afterwards and described his delight at being recognised for the award, the hard work that went into receiving such recognition and his plans for Riva going forward.
Mr. Agnew described what receiving the award felt like. “We won ‘Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year Award’ from the Irish Hospitality Awards. We were the winner of the regional border award and then the overall winners in Ireland. It was not expected, but I am absolutely delighted.”
The Irish Hospitality Awards 2018 are a celebration of local professionals and their hospitality businessses. To win an award means the establishment meets extremely high standards in both their food and drink and their customer service. To be awarded this honour means that there is something exceptional about their work.
Mr. Agnew attributes Riva Brasserie’s success down to his exceptional management team: “The award is all down to our management team, especially manager - Sharon Conlon and head chef Aurinas Timinshas. There’s no point in me taking the credit.
"I have a fantastic team and staff, and they are the sole reason why we won.”
Keith also owns MVI Cleaning Services in Dundalk and took over ownership of Riva Brasserie in November 2016. Since then, the restaurant has flourished under his direction and with the help of his dedicated staff. When asked what is his favourite thing about owning Riva, Mr Agnew explains where his passion lies and his plans for the future:
“The highlight for me is the food – I’ve gained a few stone since owning the restaurant! Our food is very rich in quality and cooked the way the customer likes it – we’re very adamant on that.
"We’re launching a new à la carte menu in two weeks. We’re also doing a major rebranding and relaunching of Riva too. We have 18 staff. I just want to send out my thanks to all the staff and customers - I was new to the industry and knew nothing when I started but the staff pointed me in the right direction.”