Kevin Dundon has ended his partnership with the owners of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs, effective Dec. 20. Dundon has served as the restaurant’s chef/partner since it first opened in 2006 at what was then known as Pleasure Island.
“Raglan Road has had a terrific run with Chef Dundon, and we wish him well in his endeavors,” Raglan Road co-founder and partner Paul Nolan said in a statement. Nolan and partner John Cooke will continue to run the popular restaurant, which has become known as much for its lively entertainment featuring Irish dancers and musicians as for its creative take on classic Irish dishes.
Reached by phone at his home in County Wexford in the south of Ireland, Dundon said that after so many years of traveling back and forth to the U.S., he wanted to cut back and concentrate more on his family and his businesses in Ireland. “It’s been a great run, and John and Paul have been wonderful to work with, but it’s time to move on,” he said.
Dundon said that he and his former partners are still in discussions regarding the recipes used at Raglan Road, but he did not have any issues with them staying on the menu. Although a press release regarding the dissolution of the partnership stated that Heberto Segura will stay on as Raglan Road’s executive chef, Dundon said that he was under the impression that Segura was leaving, too.
Dundon and his wife, Catherine, own and operate a luxury hotel and cooking school in Wexford. Through his television appearances, including commercials seen throughout Ireland, and his numerous cookbooks, Dundon is a well-known celebrity. In addition to the school and hotel, located in an old lodge once owned by a former prime minister, Dundon operates a pub and a microbrewery, Arthurstown Brewery. He said Wednesday that he will do other projects in the U.S. in the future, but nothing on the scale of Raglan Road.
Raglan Road took over a space that had been a sort of food court when Pleasure Island, Walt Disney World’s adult entertainment area, opened. It was also a jazz club at one time. The interior of Raglan Road was constructed in Ireland using wood from old pubs and churches then shipped to Florida. In addition to the main pub and restaurant, the facility also includes Cooke’s of Dublin, a quick-service restaurant.