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:
- 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.
- 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 his team of Head Chef Viv Kelly and Sous Chef Cezary Sodel, work hard to deliver an authentic fine dining experience with a rustic twist.
Working closely with Head Chef Viv Kelly and Sous Chef Cezary Sodel, the trio 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.
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
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
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
A lovely location and lovely staff welcomes you to a great experience. We had soup and scallops for starter and ribeye and risotto for main - all 4 were just brilliant. Creative, balanced and super tasty. Then came the cheesecake for desert - a perfect...More
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.
I wanted to go somewhere nice for my 40th dinner and I am so happy we chose Oar. It was outstanding. The food was excellent, cooked to perfection, the decòr is so relaxing,a beautiful calm, happy atmosphere where the owner Kieran effortlessly floats from table...More
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
Pearse, at Blackberry BnB in Doolin where we are staying, recommended Oar, and we went there this evening. The food was spectacular—exceeding that offered at many of the superb restaurants we’ve eaten at in New York City. We had the salmon appetizer, Dover sole, scallops,...More
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
Four of us had a meal here on a recent trip to Doolin and we had a first-class meal with fresh local ingredients. The waiting staff were very attentive without being in your face. The owner went from table to table engaging everyone and making...More
We visited in June 2019. In a nutshell it was amazing. Everything...the staff, the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the choices...perfect. We cleared our plates even though we were full. It was too good to leave any behind. Just go!
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
Went with my wife and our vegetarian friend, all our meals were perfectly prepared and very tasty. Staff were friendly and efficient. Fantastic!
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
We celebrated our second wedding anniversary with the dream-team at Oar... a fresh and exciting new venture in beautiful Doolin. These guys devised and served our wedding meal so we couldnt wait to see/taste what awaited us. Kieran has created something so special... from the...More
We visited OAR as a group of friends on a night out and we had a fabulous experience. We were greeted at the door by the charismatic Kieran who gave us a great welcome and took great care in taking us to our table and...More
An amazing culinary experience from start to finish. If in Doolin and want amazing irish food using locally sourced ingredients...this is the place to go....and really something special.
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
My friend and I went for dinner last night.We had been an excellent dinner there previously.We opted for the three course menu at 35€. I ordered pan-seared scallops and steak which was cooked exactly as I asked and the cheesecake for dessert sooo delicious. The...More
Really lovely delicious 5 star food in a charming, stylish and beautiful setting. Much attention has been paid to details, offering a top-notch dining experience. This was one of the highest quality meals I've had anywhere in the world. In fact, we were so taken...More
I came for dinner at Oar with a group of friends recently and I'll say that I cannot stop thinking about the place. Fantastic from start to finish. The restaurant is beautifully decorated. It's fresh, tasteful and clever. The staff are friendly, delightful and look...More
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.
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
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
Myself and my wife visited this restaurant in October. The food was fantastic, the service was fantastic. We would certainly recommend this restaurant to anyone travelling through Doolin.
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
Had the early bird menu which was 28 euros I think.Very tasty with lovely staff making it a great night.
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
Room & Location Arriving to Doolin from Lisdoonvarna, you take a right at McDermott’s Pub. The restaurant is then to your right. The room has recently been redecorated. I liked the colors, the soft furnishings. The feel is soft, comfortable, elegant. Lighting is low, intimate....More
We stayed in the OAR Restaurant and Rooms while staying in Doolin and it was a delightful experience. It's in a great location as it has the OAR restaurant right downstairs and is walking distance from pubs such as McDermott's and McGann's. The rooms are...More
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
We stayed in the guesthouse associated with this Restaurant. Accommodation functional- as was the welcome. €80 room only, noticed several places of similar standard afterwards which including full breakfast for same rate. Also it’s a 10 walk into the village, certainly not in the centre...More
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.
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!
Five of us ate here yesterday and the food from start to finish was excellent. Love the new decor which creates a lovely warm relaxing experience. But it's all about the food which didn't disappoint, from starters to desserts, it was delicious. Each was carefully...More
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
Oar, Doolin, Co Clare, Ireland Paid our first trip to the newly opened Oar in Doolin. This is a restaurant, not a pub. It is a super dining room, bright, clean and modern. Obviously created by someone with an eye for detail. Relaxing and comfortable....More
We were greeted by a lovely young waitress, and this reception set the tone for the evening. As Oar Restaurant came highly recommended, we couldn't wait for the first course to be served. I had the ravioli which was delightfully filled with butternut squash and...More
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