Fine Dining has long been a fickle game, and this week sees its latest casualty with the closure of Restaurant Forty One, part of former private members club Residence on Stephen's Green, which has also closed. In a press release sent out by Press Up Entertainment today, they announced that they had bought the building and would close both the club and restaurant immediately. The building will undergo a complete refurbishment, and a new bar and restaurant will open once this is complete.
Residence was the place to be seen during the Celtic Tiger years, and has been plagued by monetary losses, accusations of bad financial management and ownership changes from early on, but despite this managed to stay afloat as a private members club until December 2016. The decision was then made to open the doors to the general public, although the restaurant was always open to anyone with a booking. This was met with mixed reactions both from existing members and the public, and it appears that it wasn't enough to keep the doors open.
Restaurant Forty One received great reviews for their food under both former chef Graham Neville (now at Dax) and Peter Byrne (formerly of Sika at the Powerscourt Hotel) who took over the kitchen last year, but the pricing was aimed at the higher end of the market, at €70 for a three-course dinner, and €85 for a tasting menu, putting it out of reach for many Dublin diners.
Press Up Entertainment are slowing taking over the Dublin food scene and currently own and run Sophie's, Roberta's, Angelina's, Tomahawk, Wowburger, and Dollard and Co., to name a few, as well as The Dean and The Clarence hotels. Their style tends to be high-end but approachable, and although they've been accused of favouring style over substance they're certainly livening up the Dublin restaurant scene. Watch this space.