2020 has gone off with a bang in the restaurant industry, with several high profile closures in the first few days, and plenty more rumours about who's next. There were also several closures in December, and between rising council rates, impending VAT bills and the threat of making independent restaurants calculate the calories in every dish they serve, things have been better for the city's restaurateurs. Here's where's closed since December.
The longstanding casual seafood restaurant on Howth's pier closed very quietly last week, with their website and social media accounts disappearing overnight. The blinds are down and the menus removed from outside, but we've been told that the property has already been snapped up - we presume by an existing business or local restaurateur. More news when we get it.
Iskander's, Dame Street
After nearly 30 years on Dame Street and probably millions of kebabs served to millions of less than sober people, Iskander's kebab house will close this Sunday - but it's coming back as something more upmarket, and it won't be called Iskander's. It's thought to have been one of the first kebab shops in the city, and the family say they want the new iteration to be "a more modern concept". Read more about it here.
Conor and Joanna Dempsey's fine dining restaurant, Amuse, announced they were closing last week due to a variety of factors, including a 50% rent increase from €80,000 to €120,000 a year on their Dawson Street premises. They also cited an increase in VAT and rates in this depressing Irish Times article. While Amuse had a lot of fans, with many questioning why they didn't have a Michelin-star, they struggled to drum up publicity in recent years. They had little social media presence, and seem to given up what little they did at the start of 2019, and were rarely mentioned by food critics in recent years, which begs the question of whether people simply forgetting they were there was part of the problem.
Fallon & Byrne, Rathmines
Fallon & Byrne announced the closure of their Rathmines site on the 2nd of January, with staff reportedly turning up to work to find the shutters down. A company statement said they were closing the branch because it was loss-making, despite rumours that they were planning on doubling in size over the next five years, with new outlets planned in Dundrum Town Centre and Connolly Station. On Sunday the Business Post reported that their landlord, the Swan Centre, is owed circa €140,000 in rent and service charges, and is objecting to them striking off several companies which may prevent them having to pay the bill. Read more about that here.
Beo Kitchen + Wine Bar
Two days before Christmas, Beo Kitchen and Wine Bar, which brought vegan fine dining to Stoneybatter, announced they were closing due to "difficult trading conditions", just nine months after opening. A glowing review from Catherine Cleary in the Irish Times last May clearly wasn't enough to bring a sufficient number of customers through the door, and owner Ethna McDermott said that no-shows contributed to their business being unsustainable, and that they may have been ahead of their time, when speaking to the Irish Times.
Know of any other Dublin restaurant closures? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org