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Dublin's recently closed restaurants

One of our favourite beats to cover about town is new openings, with the variety we see always giving an interesting insight into the industry headwinds. Sadly right now, nothing says more about what’s going on than the growing tide of closures. With difficult post-pandemic conditions only coarsening, a raft of changes that took effect in January, from increased minimum wage and PRSI, to a hiked hospitality VAT rate, has seen that tide start to grow to a flood, and it’s not just quiet newcomers hitting the wall. Here’s the big news on what’s shut up shop in Dublin lately...



Luna, Drury Street


Originally opened by John Farrell, Luna never quite found its feet after reopening in mid-2021 under new management, with a series of pivots suggesting a restaurant struggling to find its niche. With stiff competition around that stretch from Farrell’s Amy Austin and taqueria Masa, it’ll be interesting to see if anything else steps up to the plate in this stunning space.



P. Mac’s, Stephen Street Lower


Candlelit fixture P. Mac’s shocked everyone with the news that it was packing it in last week after 11 years – if the gig is up for a place this established and busy, a lot of quieter places are going to be looking around nervously. It quickly emerged though that the space is to be handed over to the people behind Bonobo and Kodiak, who will no doubt take the food and fun to the next level. The current form will close on the 11th February.



The Square Ball & Fowl Play, Hogan Place


Just a few weeks on from opening their latest venture in the form of Clanbrassil Street’s Board, BodyTonic have closed the curtains on The Square Ball, the Hogan Place sports bar that often ploughed a similar board game furrow outside of match times. Their other outlets Bernard Shaw, Back Page and Wigwam all look to be carrying on apace; meanwhile this site will be under new management in the coming weeks. Their barbecue chicken restaurant Fowl Play is also gone, but you can still find it in The Back Page in Phibsborough.



Peperina, Ranelagh and Portobello


Peperina’s short-lived stint in the city has come to a sad end, with the new Portobello space folding just six months in, and taking the Ranelagh OG, open for all of twelve years, with it. The newer site had got off to a rough start with mixed reviews and poor passing trade, but both going down wasn’t one we saw coming. Their website says they're closed for renovations, but staff have been let go.



Michie Sushi, Ranelagh


One of the longest-standing outlets to fall in recent times, Michie has said goodbye to its home in Ranelagh after a staggering 17 years. Fans of its sushi offerings have some relief as the other locations in Dun Laoghaire and Sandyford remain open as usual.



Bread 41's Eatery, Pearse Street


Fear not: Bread 41 is going nowhere, with the bakery as busy and bustling as ever, but they’ve decided to call time on their upstairs eatery serving brunch and lunch and head back to basics – not that basic is a word you’d ever associate with baking like this. It’s as grim a sign as any on this list, given the sit-down space was always hopping - the sums just aren’t stacking up for all too many.



Duck, Fade Street


Duck on Fade Street announced their closure just before Christmas, saying that "the space limitations and practicalities of the property have made it too difficult to operate and remain compliant at the level that the demand requires without some major changes." There was much sadness amongst their fans, until the news came out that they were closed down by the HSE for a litany of health and safety infractions (that you won't want to read about while eating). They say they hope to reopen in a new form.



The Baths, Clontarf


The Baths in Clontarf had a chequered start, with locals protesting that the restaurant opened while the swimming baths remained closed. The restaurant had mediocre reviews over its time, often criticised for being over-priced for its offering, and it closed before Christmas for "renovations". It's now been confirmed that the site has been sold to a hospitality group with restaurants and hotels in Dublin and Belfast, and several sources have told us it's Nolaclan, the group behind House and 9 Below.



Mario's, Sandymount


Mario's Italian in Sandymount quietly stopped trading in the middle of January, and initially the news spread that all three of their restaurants (Ranelagh and Terenure also) had shut, but the latter two have continued trading. On OpenTable the Sandymount listing says "We are very sad, but due to the economic climate unfortunately we have to see striding (sic - we presume they mean stop trading). We would like to thank all of our customers for their support throughout these years."



Tolteca, various locations


We’re long past canaries in the coalmine with high-profile casualties like this - burrito chain Tolteca posted losses of nearly a quarter of a million last year across its four Dublin outlets, and after a decade of solid business they’re not seeing much light at the end of the tunnel. That this kind of once-reliable model is stuttering too now says it all.



Stone, Stoneybatter


Stoneybatter pizzeria Stone was one of the unlucky few to open what felt like just days before Covid landed in 2020, but managed to weather that storm and build up a decent following once things got back into the swing. Even so, the same owners are repackaging the space as a Korean restaurant, with a banner outside declaring “Stone Korea coming soon”. It’s probably more trading on the name than promising a fusion joint – though we’d absolutely give kimchi-filled crusts a go.



Storyboard, Islandbridge


After seven years serving up great quality brunch and lunch to the residents of Islandbridge’s Clancy Quay development (and plenty more who came on foot of the good word), Storyboard has called it a day. Another example of a place where there weren’t exactly an abundance of empty seats, we can only assume costs got too much to manage.



All My Friends, Meath Street


Bad news for Dublin’s LGBTQ+ community as the city’s newest bar brings down the shutters for the final time, not much more than a year on from opening its doors. All My Friends had big plans to expand its food menu beyond the excellent toasties it offered, but the multiple increased costs 2024 brought put paid to all that. They didn’t hold back landing the blame squarely at the government's feet.



Drip Coffee, Clanbrassil Street


Barely six weeks after taking over the space previously home to Clanbrassil Coffee Shop, Drip Coffee have announced their exit, citing frustration at the insecurity of the rolling monthly lease they’d been offered. They’re actively on the lookout for a new, more reliable home.



Kale + Coco, Stoneybatter


The emotional toll behind every one of these closure blurbs was well summed up by Kale + Coco owner Rebecca Feely in this article, who rightly fears a future of chains being the only operations who can afford to survive in this environment. The pressure of making ends meet has forced her hand in shutting the Stoneybatter site, which is due to see new tenants set up soon.



Sal y Pepa, Cornelscourt


Cornelscourt food truck Sal y Pepa had one of the sadder sayonara posts we’ve seen of late with this screengrab ad of the trailer up for sale. Maria Garcia’s tapas venture had racked up some impressive reviews over its less than a year in operation, before saying they were closing in November. We were hoping they would reappear elsewhere, but it seems it wasn’t to be.



Know of any other Dublin restaurant closures? Let us know by emailing info@allthefood.ie.

1 Comment


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May 30

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