Joe Macken's Jo'Burger Group has gone into liquidation, and its restaurants Jo'Burger, Crackbird, Hey Donna as well as wine bar Bar Giuseppe have ceased trading. It's understood that staff received a text message yesterday morning telling them of the news, with none of the sites opening yesterday.
In a statement released on social media the group said, "With great regret we confirm that Jo'Burger Group Ltd is going into Liquidation. A combination of factors including challenging trading conditions have forced this move. Jo'Burger, Crackbird, Hey Donna & Bar Giuseppe will cease trading immediately. We would like to thank our many customers for their years of support. But mostly thank you and sorry to all our crew and suppliers for their dedication and trust."
The Jo'Burger group was founded in 2007, and changed the casual dining scene in Dublin with restaurants Jo'Burger, Crackbird, Skinflint and Bear, but had gone into examinership in 2009 and had been declaring losses for the past few years. The opening of Middle Eastern Canteen Hey Donna in Rathmines in early 2017 was seen to many as the new phase of the group, and Joe himself described it as the type of food he wants to eat these days. The Rathmines site closed in early December, with the company citing difficulties making it work in the suburbs, but a new one had opened on Dame Street in the old Skinflint site.
The group's natural wine bar, Bar Giuseppe, only opened above Jo'Burger on Castle Market six weeks ago, so this news has come as a shock to the industry. The rate of restaurant openings in Dublin at the moment seems to be unparalleled (we are genuinely struggling to keep up), and more closures are predicted in the New Year, with many people saying there are too many restaurant seats for the city's population.