The Titanic Bar and Grill, Cobh, Co. Cork.
The picturesque coastal town of Cobh in the southeast of Ireland was temporarily renamed by the British as "Queenstown" in 1849 to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria there that year. In the era of transatlantic travel Cobh Harbour, with its deep waters was both the first and the last port of call for the huge transatlantic liners. Cobh consequently played a major part in the story of Irish emigration to America as it was the departure point for the millions of Irish who emigrated to North America between 1845 and 1950. Amongst them were Annie Moore and her two brothers who were the first immigrants to be processed through New York’s famous Ellis Island.
In 1912, Cobh was the final port of call for the ‘Harland & Wolfe’ (Belfast) built ‘Titanic’. The Titanic was said to be unsinkable and set out with much fanfare on her maiden voyage to cross the Atlantic on the 11th April 1912. Sadly however, the dreams of a new life in the “New World” for so many of her passengers ended in tragedy as The Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic with the total loss of lives registering at 1,500.
The village of Cobh today remains much the same as it was in 1912. Tangible links with the Titanic remain scattered throughout the town. The old jetty is still there where the passengers boarded the tender to be transported out to board the Titanic, where she was berthed in the deeper waters of Cobh harbour. There too, are the old White Star Line offices where the passengers purchased their tickets for the trip of their dreams as they anticipated their new life in the New World.
In 1996, those offices became the focus of a very personal dream of local Cobh man Vincent Keaney. Vincent, who had a life long interest in the Titanic and its Cobh connections, won 1.25million Irish pounds in the National Lottery draw. In 2000 he used a substantial portion of those winnings to renovate the White Star Line offices and transform them into a bar and restaurant. Mr Keaney’s attention to detail extended to having his restaurant menus designed to replicate those on offer on the ill fated liner. He also purchased at auction, dinnerware that had been intended for use on the Titanic but which ultimately was not delivered in time for her first voyage. The restaurant itself is a replica of the Titanic's Palm Court restaurant. The oldest living survivor of the disaster, Millvina Dean, did the honours of officially opening the restaurant for Mr Keaney in 2000. The bar here displays wonderful maritime artefacts, including furniture from the Mauritania, sister ship of the Titanic.
The Titanic Bar and Grill is surrounded by history and reflects the splendour of the great vessel. The huge deck looks out over the stunning beautiful Cobh harbour and is the spot where so many said their last emotional goodbyes to family and friends as they caught what was often to be their very last glimpse of home. This bar offers a unique opportunity to embrace history and walk in the footsteps of the passengers who boarded the ill fated Titanic at its last port of call, in Cobh in 1912.
Photos below: The Titanic Bar & Grill in 2021 & Passengers waiting to board the Titanic at White Star Offices, 1912