In 1889 John Sheehan, Erwin’s great grandfather started trading on Market Street in Killorglin, four generations later Erwin carries on the tradition. The business first started as a public house and drapery selling fine men’s suits and fine pints of porter. The business has changed and matured through the 4 generations and now Erwin, his wife Aoife run the business with help from their 3 daughters.
The business has changed over the years, from tailoring suits to providing luxury accommodation; however, the quality customer service has never changed. Hanging on the walls in Kingston’s Bar you will find portraits of Erwin’s ancestors, his uncle Noel’s vinyl record, his grandmothers song book and even the original sign with instructions about how to use the phone in the public bar. The modern business is a marriage of the old and the new, a traditional custom of welcoming visitors with open arms but now having them relax in modern and stylish bedrooms.
In 2018 Kingston’s Boutique Townhouse opened its doors, and a new chapter in the story of the family business started. The Kingston’s have been welcoming guests to Killorglin for many years however in 2020 at the start of the global
pandemic unfortunately we were forced to close our doors. While the closure was a difficult time it also became the catalyst for the newest facet of the business that is quickly becoming extremely popular, the introduction of artisan Neapolitan style pizza. Lock-down gave Erwin time to perfect his dough recipe and in July 2020 we were able to reopen our doors and welcome our customers back into Kingston’s for pizza & a few pints. Commended by Lucinda O’Sullivan, food critic for The Independent, Kingston’s pizza has become a favourite with tourists and locals alike, even Italians have called it, the best pizza outside of Italy!
There is lots of history in the building itself, as you head from the bar to the townhouse you go through a doorway that was created in 2018, to create the door the builder cut through the original stone wall which is nearly 20 inches thick and was built in the late 1800’s. From the townhouse’s superior “Carrauntoohil” room you will see the ruins of Castle Conway. Castle Conway was originally built in 1215 AD and was the first castle to be constructed in Killorglin. Due to destruction, it was rebuilt in 1613, until it was mostly
demolished in 1842. The remaining wall still stands and also makes up one wall of our beer garden. A fun fact about Castle Conway: In the early years of Puck Fair, once King Puck was crowned,
he was placed atop Castle Conway, very different from the stand he is put on today.
We are very lucky that our three daughters have such a great interest in the business and so keen to help out, perhaps we are looking at the 5th generation of business owners!
If the walls in Kingston’s could talk we know they would tell great stories and we look forward to welcoming you to Killorglin to make stories and history of your own.