BETHESDA, MD — Even COVID-19 couldn't stop Miss Universe Ireland from making a special appearance at The Irish Inn at Glen Echo.
Fionnghuala (Fig) O'Reilly — who made history in 2019 as the first woman of color to win her title — recently stopped by The Irish Inn to enjoy a meal and some socially-distanced live Irish music. She had visited the family-owned restaurant and pub once before in January.
"Welcoming Fig again was a treat for our staff, customers, and friends, and we are already looking forward to her next visit," owner Christy Hughes said. "We know how much guests love attending our Irish music nights while enjoying traditional Irish fine-dining, and we wanted to make it possible to still experience that great Irish 'craic' safely."
The Irish Inn, located at 6119 Tulane Ave., resumed its tradition of hosting weekly Irish music nights in June. The Tuesday evening performances are held outside due to COVID-19, and often feature guest Irish dancers.
"It's rewarding to see The Irish Inn returning to the bustling, energetic establishment that it has been for 25 years. Times are tough for all local businesses, but due to creative management, staff team work and a loyal customer base, The Irish Inn has adapted and responded positively to the pandemic operating challenges, seeing increasing business stability as customers begin to safely return to dining out again," Caroline Johnston, a business development consultant for The Irish Inn, said.
O'Reilly said it was a memorable evening and even returned with her father for another meal.
"My father said he was taking me for the best fish and chips in town. To my delight it ended up being a surprise third visit to The Irish Inn," she said.