Joint press release on Hunt Museum Cafe from Descartes and The Hunt Museum

Hunt MuseumHunt Museum

21 December, 2021


View towards the servery

Having run the Café at the Hunt Museum for the last 25 years, Helen O’Donnell  has, with regret, decided to give up her tenure to pursue other interests. 

The Hunt Museum is extremely sad to see Helen leave – the food, service and welcome she has provided have been a mainstay of the Museum for its entire existence in the Custom House.

Helen and the Museum do see this to be a fantastic opportunity for someone new to take over this charming Café at one of the most beautiful sites in the city.  The space, with its  redesigned garden overlooking the river, and opportunities for night time dining and entertainment, has enormous potential.

Helen says, “I have loved every minute of my time at the Hunt Museum and look forward to handing over the baton to new fresh talent to grow the business into the future. I would like to thank the many loyal customers who down the years have made our business a huge success. I have given this a lot of consideration and I wanted to support the Museum through Covid and prove to myself the Café could survive such a curveball. We will continue to provide catering to our corporate and private clients from another location.”

The aim is to have a new tenant in place before Easter 2022. Helen will continue at the Café serving her delicious food until then and assist in the transition to a new operator. A tender will be issued in the second week of January 2022 and submissions by interested parties will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Board of the Hunt Museum.

The Board of the Museum believe the change to be a thrilling opportunity for the Café and the Hunt to play a refreshed role in Limerick’s emerging food scene.   The Hunt Museum would like offers from interested parties that keep the loyal following built by Helen while delivering a new chapter for the restaurant.  A partnership that will complement the ethos of the museum and its aspiration to be a centre of civic life in the region is important, alongside the ability to generate new benefits to Limerick and the region.  With the new garden creating a wonderful outdoor space, facing the River Shannon, the possibilities for an operator wishing to play a leading role in the city centre’s day and night food scene are wide open and very exciting.

The subcommittee is:  Jill Cousins, Helen O’Donnell, John Moran and  Elaine O’Malley who are being supported by expert John Ruddle.


Hunt Museum: Jill Cousins,

Dolmen Catering: Helen O’Donnell,

Interest in making an offer:  John Ruddle,


View towards the servery

Our garden during the Wild Geese Festival 2021

The Garden during the Wild Geese Festival July 2021

View out into the Garden from the Café

View from the servery


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