We have the take-aways, we have the local pub, and we have the coffee shop. Now all that’s been needed here in the village of late is a good restaurant. And that’s just what we have on the outskirts of the village at present – the construction of that very restaurant, The Treehouse Bar & Restaurant.

I recall hearing late last year that a new restaurant was on the horizon. Excited just a tad I was then. Excited very much I am now. There’s nothing more rewarding after a long working week than a nice meal in nice surroundings at the end of that week; or in the middle of that week; or in fact at the very beginning of that working week!! Needless to say the excitement is mounting here at Craic On Muff to get in those doors and try a bite right here on our doorstep.

I caught up with Paul McGonigle earlier tonight to find out a little more detail of the said establishment. The new bar and restaurant will be under the management of both Paul and Joseph McGonigle, two well know local business men. Paul told me; “The Treehouse Bar & Restaurant will be open mid-summer. It’s impossible to give an exact date at present due to the unforeseen construction world.” I’m sure the unreliable Irish weather might also be privy to causing a little disruption to any construction. So we’ll allow for all that. Paul does however seem optimistic that they will be up and running for the forthcoming Muff Festival. Mind you I’m not going to rush this opening, as I’m sure like many, I’m savouring the very essence of having this new establishment on our doorstep.

So just what can we expect from The Treehouse Bar & Restaurant? Paul tells me: “It will be a very down-to-earth, wholesome and affordable place to eat.” He says, “we are so well placed here in Inishowen with simply the finest produce in the surrounding area, and it’s this very  produce we are going to be serving at a fair price. We will be family friendly – with the fantastic MUGA facility just a stones throw away, we have been very sympathetic with our design towards the young family.” With such a young population here in the village, that really is a delight to hear.

Paul told me that the most recent census showed that Muff has a population which is just 200 less than neighbouring Carndonagh and Moville, thereby showing just how lacking behind we are in our facilities. This is one facility which will be most welcomed by all, I’m certain.

Paul mentioned that they have already been approached with inquiries about  hosting a number of weddings. Is this something they might offer? “It’s something we will look at of course. We’ll have to speak with our chef, but we won’t rule out a small (by Irish standards) wedding. ”

I had to ask if there was going to be entertainment in the new bar/restaurant. And I did like the response! “You can most certainly expect live entertainment. We are currently starting to get acts booked for key dates after we open. We’ve even been in contact and gone to see/hear new up-and-coming acts too. They will also get a place in our ‘live’ corner.” Oh, I’m liking the sound of this ‘live’ corner already!

Paul assures me that they have an ethos to keep everything as local as possible. However as in any venture they will go further afield if and when necessary.  Oh and he also tells me there will be a ‘cocktail menu’. I think there might be a seat with my name on it already – or maybe that’s a cocktail glass with my name on it!

The Treehouse seems a rather apt name for where this new bar/restaurant is situated – on the cusp of Wheatfield and very near Kilderry forest. However there’s more detail to the name. This is what really makes this still-in-progress bar/restaurant very much community/family friendly, before it even opens. I guess I always like that personal touch, familial input to something, and The Treehouse Bar & Restaurant has just that from it’s name origins: Paul told me – “this whole area (Wheatfiled, Kilderry) is somewhere Joseph and I used to play with our friends as children. We used to have a go at building treehouses in the forest. But this affinity with treehouses (particularly on my part) comes from further back in time – when we lived in Carnamoyle. Whilst there, Mum had a family friend come and build me the most wonderful treehouse for my birthday. That treehouse, when I look back, was somewhere in which I felt safe, secure with nature and ultimately it was my sanctuary at the bottom of the garden. We want The Treehouse Bar & Restaurant to have that same feeling – to create lasting memories and become a place where people can come and relax.” I was already excited about this new bar/restaurant, but on hearing this rather poignant, heart-warming Treehouse story, I’m already making my first reservation for dinner (and a cocktail of course).

With the blue sky and sunshine today (between those rain showers), there really is a hint that summer might just be on its way. What better way to celebrate summer than with a new bar/restaurant in the village. Here’s wishing Paul and Joseph every success with this new venture and I’m certainly looking forward to that first visit (and many following) to The Treehouse Bar & Restaurant.