Road racing star Michael Dunlop takes on new hospitality business venture at Shenanigans in Portstewart

Michael Dunlop with his business partner, Maggie McWilliams, at Shenanigans Venue in Portstewart. Picture: Matt Steele.
Michael Dunlop with his business partner, Maggie McWilliams, at Shenanigans Venue in Portstewart. Picture: Matt Steele.

International road racing star Michael Dunlop is embarking on a new business venture after revealing he will take over the popular Shenanigans Venue in Portstewart.

The 18-time Isle of Man TT winner and his business partner, Maggie McWilliams, have taken ownership of the three-storey complex and plan to launch it as a new restaurant and beach bar after Christmas.

Ballymoney man Michael Dunlop has won 18 Isle of Man TT races.

Ballymoney man Michael Dunlop has won 18 Isle of Man TT races.

Following completion, the venue will boast two restaurants, five bars, a nightclub and a three-tier beer garden and outdoor bar.

Ballymoney man Dunlop said: “We aim to bring the hospitality scene in the North Coast to a whole new level with a strong emphasis on amazing food, high service levels and exceptional customer experience.

“Customers can expect to see dramatic changes across the prominent seaside venue and an entirely new nightlife scene.”

Ms McWilliams has extensive experience in the hospitality industry having owned bars, restaurants and clubs in both Australia and Ireland and together, they plan to open further businesses across Northern Ireland and in the Republic.

Michael Dunlop on his way to victory in the opening Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT on his MD Racing Honda in June.

Michael Dunlop on his way to victory in the opening Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT on his MD Racing Honda in June.

She said: “We are ecstatic about this new venture and I’m looking forward to getting back to the Port after half a year away.

“Portstewart is the heart of the North Coast and we want to create a venue which will be unrivalled for exciting new food, creative dining experiences and the best of live entertainment.”

Dunlop was left reeling following the tragic death of his brother, William, in a crash at the Skerries 100 in July. The 29-year-old has not raced since the tragedy.