"American" food in honor of the President...
There was no restaurant in the village of Moneygall before President Obama announced he'd be visiting Ireland on Monday, May 23rd. The little village in County Offaly has two pubs but no bank, no ATM, and no gas station. It's been a mad scramble to finish The Obama Café before the President's arrival. "American" food will be served: Hamburgers, French fries, and pizza.
"We're working hell-for-leather," Co-owner Mark Costello told the BBC about the efforts to get the restaurant open in time for the big day.
Like the rest of Ireland, County Offaly has been hit hard by the implosion of the Celtic Tiger economy. Costello said the presidential visit has been good for local businesses.
"It's br illiant. We've used local electricians, painters. It's been a much-needed boost for people here," Costello said.
On May 16, scaffolding was still all over the front of The Obama Café.