John R ( John Richard Walsh ) a Limerick man who married a Cork woman Jane McDonald and they took residence in Listowel as he was the creamery manager in Moyvane. Around 1915 they rented a pub and grocer shop and ran a successful business until the troubles in 1921 when the building ( along with 4 other premises in the town ) was burned down by The Black & Tans. Under pressure Jane continued to run the business from a shed at the rear of the building while John R was imprisoned by The Black & Tans.
When the building was restored they ran it until the 1940’s when their younger son Joseph and wife Hannah took over the running of the business. Despite putting their own stamp on the business it continued to be known as John R’s as it is to this day. Joseph and Hannah were progressive and forward thinking and put a strong foundation in place for the next generation.
Pierce and Marian took over the helm in the 1980’s. In Nov. 1994 they decided to get out of the pub side of the business and concentrated on the food side and this proved to be an inspired decision. In 2008 having purchased the adjacent property they extended the business to include a Home Bakery and delicatessen and four years later café Hanna.