We are an award winning bistro in the heart of Enniscorthy.
Every day our goal is to bring you great locally sourced food in a relaxed setting, while receiving excellent service by our experienced and friendly staff.
We have a number of dining options available throughout the day to suit your needs and also have a selection of private function rooms available for your special occasions.
We are just about to launch a new menu and range of dining options for our customers. Make sure to check back soon for more details!! In the mean time why not come relax and enjoy our current menu.
History of The Bailey
In the beginning of the eighteenth century, Enniscorthy, as indicated on Munday’s map of 1729, was a compact town mainly on the west bank of the river Slaney, with the Temple Shannon area on the East bank. A barracks and an undeveloped area generally occupied the site of The Maltings at that time.
Tillage expanded towards the end of the eighteenth century and Enniscorthy developed an economy largely based on the processing of agricultural produce. There was a boom in the corn trade and it had an impact on the town, with fifteen malthouses, three drying kilns, two distilleries and a brewery recorded in a rental of 1785. Enniscorthy was described as “the granary of the kingdom for oats and barley”. There were twenty-nine malthouses in 1796. The corn trade continued to grow and the Slaney, being a great benefit for transport to Wexford on the gabbards and the cots. It was responsible for the industrial development of the town from the 1830’s. Two quays were built by Nicholas Ellis, one on each side of the river. The railway was extended to the town in 1863. There was a distillery adjacent to the site which was demolished to make way for the railway line which crossed the river just to the north of The Maltings.
A railway spur was built along the East boundary of the site, and as the railway had taken over from river transport it made the site increasingly suitable for industrial expansion. An examination of the historic maps indicates that Island Street was largely undeveloped in the early part of the eighteenth century. The first edition of the ordnance map before the railway was brought to Enniscorthy shows the distillery to the south of the site and some small buildings that may have been part of the barracks from which Barrack Street gets its name. The later edition of the map shows this building removed. The Maltings, or The Malt House as described on the map, is first shown on the 1903 edition. There is a large building indicated on the opposite side of Mary Street, which was part of the site and may been the corn store of William Moran. It is clear that The Maltings was a purpose built Malt House although the lower walls on the Western side may have been part of an earlier building.
P.J Roche, a Maltser with a business in New Ross, is credited with establishing the family concern, which developed the Maltings as it is today. P.J Roche and Sons leased the site from William Moran in 1870 which was described as part of the lands with a corn store garden and premises at Mary Street and Island Road. The Maltings building, which is now the Bailey Cafe bar, has a date stone which reads ‘The Maltings, 1895, P.J. Roche’.
The business traded as P.J Roche and Sons Ltd. until 1969, when it amalgamated with the firm of Robert Gibney of Portlaoise to become Roche-Gibney Ltd. In 1978 it became associated with the firm of Minch Norton and Co. Ltd. It was then bought outright by Minch Norton and Co. Ltd, who operated the business up until recent years when they ceased trading.
A Romantic History: On June 5th, 1900, Mr. Henry J. Roche married Miss Josephine Shriver, daughter of a well-known businessman in Baltimore, USA. This marriage was destined to link the esteemed Roche Family with the United States Presidency. Miss Shriver’s first cousin was Mr. Robert Sergeant Shriver’s mother, and Sergeant Shriver married Miss Eunice Kennedy, sister of the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963, inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States on January 20, 1961) the late Senator Robert Kennedy (1925-1968) and Senator Edward Kennedy. Mr. P.J. Roche endowed his son with an unusual wedding present: the ruined 13th century castle at Enniscorthy, which he immediately set about restoring. When the restoration work was completed in 1905, Mr. P.J. Roche had gone to his eternal reward. When the newly wedded Mr. Henry J. Roche and his American-born bride returned to Enniscorthy, it was a time for celebration – not just for the family but for the townspeople as well. Candles burned brightly in every window of The Maltings facing the railway station as they stepped from the station to the handshakes and well-wishers.
The smiling and happy couple were ushered to a waiting horse-drawn carriage, and employees of The Maltings formed a guard of honour to escort the procession to Borodale House, which was rented from the Beatty Family while Enniscorthy Castle was restored. It was a great social occasion for the townspeople, the kind that belongs to a lost era.
Published by original research by Dan Walsh,‘Family Industry in Enniscorthy’, 1983.