Meet Gill from Dangan.
When you reach the top of the stairs at 56 Central Restaurant you are greeted by a painting of a large heart. This heart has a bloodline flowing in and out of it and it traverses it's way around the building in a subtle range of lines. The restaurant is broken into sections signifying nature, society, self reflection and culture. It is reflective of what Gill is trying to create, a community space all interlinked. However what really stood out to me is the message "It's Time" etched into the wall above a bench where Gill realised her dream.
As a teen Gill worked waitressing in the same building, in what was then known as Lynch's restaurant. She studied Business and Hotel Management at GMIT before heading off to Edinburgh. She set up her first business; The Orchard Bar. It involved a complete over haul and it was the first time Gill got to create her own vision of a place. With time Gill wanted to move back to Galway, a bad end to a relationship made this move quicker than expected. She returned broken hearted. The only way she could try improve her mental state was through exercise and she met a young trainer, Pat Divilly. Slowly she was getting both physically and mentally strong.
She decided "healthy is the new sexy" and with that in mind opened 37 West on Lower Newcastle Road. Super salads and wheatgrass juices were introduced. Gill did a diploma in food nutrition so she would be able to help customers choose food with best suited their needs. From rugby players to lecturers, 37 West is a huge success. Being healthy also involved all staff taking part in events and races, and raising awareness and money for many charities along the way.
After a trip to see motivational guru Tony Robbins in New York Gill started to create vision boards of what else she would like to do. It was the right time and 56 Central was created. Here you can attend an art class in the evening or do some yoga to start your day. Gill is a determined, life of the party type of person. However she is very aware of the fact that life is what you make it. If it starts going in direction she isn't happy with, she will do anything to get it back on track. From walking on fire to Hare Krishna retreats Gill will work to refocus her mind and energies. She is currently enjoying having realised her dreams but we are guessing that it won't be long until Gill envisions another masterplan.