CRANFORD - The plan to move Kilkenny House from its current location to 109 Walnut Avenue appears to be dead.
At 109 Walnut Avenue, the construction of a three-story, mixed-use development consisting of 24 residential apartments on the second and third floors, with 5,000 square feet of what was to be the new Kilkenny House on the ground level is underway.
At the November 19 Zoning Board meeting, Barry O'Donovan, owner of The Kilkenny House, spoke during the public comment portion and said he will be remaining at his current location, 112 South Avenue.
"On May 8, 2017, I was in front of this board under oath and I said I was moving Kilkenny House to Walnut," said O'Donovan. "I was asked questions and I gave all the answers and I did believe I was moving."
"I did this in good faith in front of you and it pains me to be here tonight. I did an agreement that I thought before I came here that night was with Dr. Daryl Boffard and his son Brandon. We thought we were going to sign an agreement shortly afterwards, and that was held over until February. In February, I was given a contract by a completely different company. Dr. Daryl Boffard is not in it, his son is, but there were two new people and there was a whole new company. So they bought into the project and have holdings elsewhere, but it did not work. But in front of this board I told the truth, and I thought I was moving."
O'Donovan planned to move to 109 Walnut Avenue due to it not being in a flood zone like his current location is. In 2011, like much of Cranford, Kilkenny House was ravaged by Hurricane Irene, which left the restaurant under 12 feet of water.
"The main reason that I'm here is the simple fact that I'm asked 20 times a day what's happening," added O'Donovan. "Until recently, I could not talk about it. This is to tell the town that I am not moving. I do apologize, I did my best to make this happen and in good faith."