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 Head Chef Cezary Sodel, work hard to deliver an authentic fine dining experience with a rustic twist.
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.
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
Second time here, even better than the first! Loved every mouthful - excellent food, lovely relaxed atmosphere and a warm welcome from Kieran and his staff...you will not be disappointed.
Staff, service, owner, food, chef et al were outstanding. Yes you will pay a little more for a meal here but it is worth it. If you like food, you will love this place.
What can I say about a restaurant that leaves you speechless. The food was absolutely delicious and amazingly presented. My parents decided to take myself and my fiancé for dinner to celebrate our engagement. The wine was also excellent with a great list. The setting...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
Had the early bird menu which was 28 euros I think.Very tasty with lovely staff making it a great night.
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.
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 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!
Stumbled across this little beauty of a restaurant last weekend on a few days away. Selection of food on the menu, presentation, flavors & tastes were excellent. Loved the atmosphere & the staff could not have been more helpful. Best of luck to the owner,...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
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
Delicious food fresh , cooked to perfection and beautifully presented. Courteous service and elegant ambiance with great views
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Despite the fact that they had a large group last night, my husband, my daughter and I had a fabulous dinner last night at this cozy new spot. The appetizers of tomato basil soup and goat cheese with beets were great starters and the cod,...More
My friends and I visited this hidden gem a few weeks ago, This dining experience exceeded all previous . The flavours and local produce were amazing . It is a menu that fully satisfied . The attention to detail in the preparation and presentation of...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 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
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
Excellent gourmet restaurant, using all locally sourced ingredients. a bit pricey but elegant. The service is warm and welcoming. The food is delicious.
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 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
A welcoming, relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and food that you will not be able to beat, no matter where you eat in Ireland. Understandable why Oar has just been named best new restaurant in Ireland. The best of Local Irish Produce, served up by what...More
This is a big step up from the pub food available in the rest of Doolin. The chef has some creative adventurous dishes, but a little overdone for our pallets The steak was excellent, but you really need Gorgonzola sauce?The vegetarian in our group had...More
This is our 3rd visit, and it’s a pleasure every time. Style with substance, from the warm welcome to the the fantastic flavours. We are usually cheese people but pictures of deserts had me tempted. My fella had the special tiramisu which was delicious and...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
What a delight it was to dine in oar!! The food is amazing. Such a well thought out menu and something for everyone’s palate. Kieran is a fabulous host and the food really is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Thanks Kieran for a...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
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 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