About Us

Restaurateur & Owner of OAR Doolin

About Kieran O'Halloran

Kieran O’Halloran – Restaurateur and Owner of OAR Doolin

Kieran O’ Halloran left school at 15 years of age to focus on food. He joined CERT in Galway to begin his studies, however, having worked in kitchens from the age of 11 Kieran found that he was learning nothing new so decided to move to Edinburgh at 16 to study Culinary Arts. Having earned his Culinary Arts Degree Kieran moved to London where he worked front of house assisting the food and beverage manager and growing his skills. There followed a move to Aberdeen in 1992, when Kieran leased his first restaurant (Hobsons) at the age of 19. After a year the property was sold to a national Pizza company and Kieran was approached by Mitchells & Butlers, now one of the largest operators of restaurants, pubs and bars in the UK, to work on a converting a pub in Aberdeen to an Irish bar (O’Neills) which went on to have another 120 open across the UK.

Kieran travelled the world gaining experience and knowledge working, on many occasions free of charge, to learn local cuisines.  Mitchells & Butlers came calling again having lost the original authenticity of the O’Neills brand and looking for Kieran to help them rediscover, rethink and recentralise.

In 2011, in the midst of the recession, Kieran made the decision to move back to Ireland to his home county of Clare and this is where Kierans’ Kitchen – now a roaring success having won multiple awards – was born.

However Kieran still had that urge to get back to his original love, discovered during his Culinary Arts Studies in Edinburgh where he welcomed a clientele that included Prince Charles, the Duke of Westminster, Margaret Thatcher amongst others. He had noticed how they loved good food but without the micro portioning that was so prevalent in Fine Dining establishments at that time.

This has now come to fruition at OAR Doolin where Fine Dining is a rustic experience, allowing guests to relax, chat and enjoy themselves. OAR Restaurant does not have a dress code focusing instead on the food and the positive energy of happy guests.

Attention to detail is huge for Kieran. As a lover of fine wines Kieran counts the ‘bane of his life’ as restaurants and hotels that offer fine wines in cheap glasses – simply insulting.

Kierans’ Philosophy on creating a successful business:

  1. The Right People – Without the right people you will have no business so it is imperative to find and look after the right staff for your business.
  2. Produce – Sourcing Well. Kieran is a champion for local food producers and seasonal ingredients, which can be experienced at OAR Restaurant.

OAR Restaurant is already attracting favourable reviews and Kieran, along with Head Chef  Cezary Sodel, work hard to deliver an authentic fine dining experience with a rustic twist.

YesChef Review

Working closely with Head Chef Cezary Sodel, they have brought together decades of experience in the industry to create a menu that features the best of Co Clare produce.

With a very short lead in time Kieran has created a room that reflects the very localised colours and tones of the Clare landscape.

“We wanted to create a space that was evocative of the landscape, so you’ll see that in the restaurant we have used tones of sage green and grey, complemented by crisp white linen. I worked closely with local designer – Ciara McGrath and together we were able to define a space that is a relaxed and ambient space for dining.”

 

On the walls of this light and airy room you will find artwork by Manus Walsh who happens to be Ciara’s dad, which beautifully describe the landscape and complement this peaceful space. To finish the room Kieran and his team spent many hours searching for the perfect cutlery, linens and glassware.

“You know those small touches are so important, we want to deliver an experience for our guests. The guys in the kitchen work very hard to achieve the level required for these dishes and how we present them to our guests can only improve the experience.”

 

What better way to conclude your evening than to pop upstairs and spend the night in one of the newly renovated rooms at Oar.
~ YesChef.ie

  •   Finally got to dine at Oar restaurant. It had eluded me all summer. On a cold wet and windy Summer evening, Oar extended a warm welcome. A cosy ambience with tasteful decor creates a homely feel. Friendly staff move around almost unnoticed until they are...More

    thumb AuntyKathleen1
    9/05/2019

      I visited with my mother to celebrate her birthday and it was a great experience. The food is EXCELLENT and the staff is very attentive and friendly. I would definitely eat here again!

    thumb Daniel B
    6/08/2019

      Dinner in Oar last weekend was everything I look for in a meal and more. Portions were plenty big, the ingredients were fresh and delicious and the dishes showed a creativity and level of skill that is often hard to find. Particular mention to the...More

    thumb ciarairis
    6/13/2019

      Myself and Fiancé enjoyed an absolutely outstanding meal in The Oar on July 17th. A big thank to Kieran for fitting us in on short notice having popped our heads in the night before on the reccomendations of our hotel. Although fully booked (for the...More

    thumb 152niallm
    7/24/2020
  •   Well... where do I start, we loved it all! Very warm welcome from Jeana (i hope i spelt that right!). The place looks great. We are old favourites of the Roadford with Marian & Frank, but we were charmed last night. They have done a...More

    thumb 375maeve
    4/15/2019

      I recently visited Oar Restaurant with my husband and two other couples. We all thoroughly enjoyed our evening. The food was delicious and great value. Will definitely visit again.

    thumb annmarie c
    10/26/2019

      If you are looking for something special This is a must when visiting doolin. Something other than pub grub. The atmosphere is fab and the food first class. The dining room is well spaced out without being too obvious. The raspberry soufflé is divine.

    thumb Emer B
    7/19/2020

      Delicious food fresh , cooked to perfection and beautifully presented. Courteous service and elegant ambiance with great views

    thumb scrimmage321
    7/06/2019
  •   Cosy little place with excellent food and friendly attentive staff, well worth a visit and not overpriced, i found the dining space a little cramped but overall a very pleasant place to spend an evening

    thumb wildatlanticfoodie
    8/11/2019

      We decided to treat ourselves and try Oar which has replaced the former Roadford House. From the moment you walk in you sense you are in for something special. The food from starter to dessert was excellent and unusual- I had never tried a homemade...More

    thumb CMBernadette
    5/01/2019

      OAR restaurant and accomadation has WOWED us again. We were treated to such a VIP level of service, care and attention and the most beautifully cooked and presented locally sourced food that is such a wonderful combination of flavour and freshness and presentation, A pure...More

    thumb carolineo458
    7/13/2019

      Conveniently situated in the village of Doolin, an easy walk from Hotel Doolin. This attractively appointed restaurant with letting rooms ticks virtually all the boxes. We had a memorable meal there last week, with outstanding beef carpaccio, scallops, Dover sole, etc., on offer. The servings...More

    thumb William O
    10/07/2019
  •   Hands down, this restaurant served the best cod I’ve ever had! The food at Oar Restaurant is truly exceptional, and I was only delighted to wine & dine here for our last night in Doolin. The scallops starter was beautiful, each piece succulent with plenty...More

    thumb NirinaXX
    7/27/2020

      I have traveled world wide and I live in a part of the world where seafood is plenty . I have had the pleasure of eating in beautiful places , with respected chefs. The scallops and warm salad I had at Oar last night has...More

    thumb internationalexpand
    8/19/2019

      Really enjoyed our meal here. The service was top notch and the food inventive and clean. Would have eaten here twice if we stayed in the area longer. Highly recommended!

    thumb PamNewYork
    8/28/2019

      The owner has committed to providing an alternative to the pub food available elsewhere in Doolin. Good selection of reasonably priced wine compliments a menu that provides flavors to the local meat and fish that really bring the protein alive.

    thumb shamsix
    5/22/2019
  •   A great meal, good service, interesting owner of this new restaurant in Doolin. One of my companions at our meal who has traveled a lot internationally found his steak to be as good as he has ever had. My lamb chop was very good.

    thumb Escape742641
    4/13/2019

      We were able to walk to Oar from our B&B. A warm greeting welcomed us. This is definitely not a pub but a higher end restaurant. After ordering a bottle of wine to share, we all decided to order from a fixed price menu of...More

    thumb Chip1701
    10/05/2019

      I cannot rate the Oar restaurant & rooms highly enough! We stayed 2 nights & were made so welcome from the minute we arrived. The accommodation was pet friendly, extremely clean & so comfortable. The quality & service of food was outstanding & way beyond...More

    thumb kathleenbr0snan
    7/10/2020

      Iontach ar fad. Oíoche speisialta. Oar is truly an amazing place. Kieran and his team were outstanding.very different and top class.

    thumb clare C
    8/06/2020
  •   We visited Oar on a recommendation, we were told it was worth a visit since we were in the area. Expecting a "nice" meal, we booked, organised a Taxi and arrived outside what looked like a private house. We entered and were shown into a...More

    thumb thetaMayo
    6/30/2019

      Lovely hosts, helpful, attentive and friendly.. beautiful food with great attention to flavors and presentation.. restaurant has a lovely warm atmosphere and we will definitely be returning..

    thumb MunsterBlondie
    7/02/2020

      Stayed in the rooms at the restaurant for three nights with friends We decided to eat in the restaurant on the Saturday night and it was absolutely fantastic Lovely room and great ambience. The group had 3 courses and one was better than the next...More

    thumb JamesK3972
    7/13/2020

      Amazing value, amazing food, amazing service in a beautifully styled restaurant. But most amazingly the Cheescake cream dessert off the main menu. Worth a visit in lovely surroundings and a real treat

    thumb AbbaDancingQueen
    7/28/2019
  •   Don't think - just book. A delicious meal from start to finish coupled with warm service. I want to see this restaurant go all the way to the top. Thank you for a splendid evening

    thumb Maeveni
    8/19/2019

      To say this was an unexpected delight is an understatement. Top quality food and service from beginning to end. Very chilled atmosphere with local art hanging on the walls. A hidden gem and one not to be missed. Will be back for sure.

    thumb Aoife B
    6/16/2019

      Had the early bird menu which was 28 euros I think.Very tasty with lovely staff making it a great night.

    thumb Alan H
    7/31/2019

      We discovered this place last year while on a road trip to the Irish Open Golf tournament. We had a wonderful meal on that occasion, so much so, we decided to return in July this year. After being in lockdown for so many weeks, we...More

    thumb kerrycruisers
    7/24/2020
  •   The view from the outside is sparse but very neat and welcoming. Inside follows the same path - gray walls, loads of votives, fresh flowers and a welcoming staff. They had a limited selection of spirits, but the Laphroig was a perfect beginning for my...More

    thumb Marta J
    10/07/2019

      I visited oar restaurant in Doolin, Co. Clare on 25th May with friends for dinner, and to say that i was surprised and impressed in equal measure is a massive understatement. Whilst the setting, decor, atmosphere, staff, wine list, attention to detail & quality of...More

    thumb fergal b
    5/29/2019

      Beautiful restaurant, set in the heart of Doolin. A really calming and relaxed atmosphere upon arrival and throughout. The staff are great, super helpful, attentive and happy. The food here is second to none. Tastes, flavor combinations, presentation, all top notch. The attention to detail...More

    thumb Lisa M
    6/26/2019

      This restaurant is amazing, from the moment you arrive the experience is perfect, beautiful venue and wonderful friendly staff. The food was perfect, the best restaurant I have been to in a long time.

    thumb Annette B
    7/24/2020
  •   Went with my wife and our vegetarian friend, all our meals were perfectly prepared and very tasty. Staff were friendly and efficient. Fantastic!

    thumb Kiwi_Prawn
    8/15/2019

      I went for dinner last night with my friends. I order sola fillet with vegetables, beef carpaccio with fresh sour bread, and for dessert soufle blackurrant. OMG it was very lovely dessert. Everything was presend beautifull,and it was tasty. Staff it was friendly:) It was...More

    thumb IwonaN76
    6/30/2019

      Excellent service from the start by both staff members, felt very welcome. Attention to detail was impressive and were assisted in choosing the perfect light tasting craft beer to accompany our meal. My steak was excellent, cooked exactly how I like it and my knife...More

    thumb 143stevef
    7/05/2020

      A simply delightful meal, great service, our waitress was happy to help with choices. One thing I love in a restaurant is when you can see the care and attention that has gone into every detail.; the room, the table set with beautiful linen and...More

    thumb Snuzies
    8/17/2019
  •   Excellent gourmet restaurant, using all locally sourced ingredients. a bit pricey but elegant. The service is warm and welcoming. The food is delicious.

    thumb Rosanne M
    9/05/2019

      We were lucky enough to stay at the rooms above Oar restaurant and so we came upon the restaurant this way. However, if you’re anywhere nearby - Doolin, Lahinch, Cliffs of Moher or Ennis, it’s worth the trip. It’s really world class - food, wine...More

    thumb TellAmanda
    7/19/2019

      We stayed in the oar restaurant rooms from the 12 to the 15 june 2019. We had originally planned to stay only 2 nights, but because of the location and also the friendliness of the staff, we decided to stay an extra night. The rooms...More

    thumb 979barryc
    6/15/2019

      Anniversary meal on our staycation in OAR. Well on par with the best establishments in Ireland. Beautiful dinning room. Food was fantastic and beautifully presented. Local produce. Kieth was a fountain of knowledge and the wine was Spot on! Would have no hesitation in recommending...More

    thumb pmcpirelandCoLouth
    8/03/2020

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