Who would have thought in the latest "lockdown without having a lockdown" we'd see so many new openings, but it feels like people are fed up of waiting around and just want to get on with it. Here's what's just opened, with two more to come...
Glovebox, Allta Winter House, Dublin 2
It feels like we've been waiting forever (definitely a few weeks) but Glovebox, the art-filled bar under Allta Winter House has finally opened. From Wednesday to Saturday each week you can buy tickets for €20, redeemable against snacks and drinks, and there's a live DJ from Wednesday - Sunday. Snacks, ranging from €8 - €14, include smoked Gubbeen fries; lamb shoulder with crispy potatoes and crème fraîche; tempura soft shell crab with kimchi; and lobster rolls, and the art gallery, curated by artist and designer Ronan Dillon, will rotate Irish and international contemporary artists. Find out more and book tickets here.
Luna, Dublin 2
Lovely Luna on Drury street shut unexpectedly in May 2019 and remained closed throughout the pandemic. There were rumours over the past year that another restaurant owner had taken over the space and was going to reopen it, but we were still taken aback to see it reopen just as suddenly last weekend. Its new owners are the same as L'Gueuleton and Hogan's pub around the corner, and L'Gueuleton head chef Ben Dineen has been installed in the kitchen. We're waiting on the first few reports, but this is a completely different Luna than the original. Out with the 1950's NY-Italian theme, in with the bowls of nitro.
Yoi Izakaya, Dublin 4
Yoi Ramen near Grand Canal Dock have opened a second site in Dublin 4 - Yoi Izakaya, specialising in "Asian Tapas". Truth be told the menu is almost identical in both sites, but on a recent recon visit we were impressed by the sushi, less so by the ramen. The restaurant is nicely fitted out, staff are utterly lovely, and we'll be back to try more of their "tapas".
Lennan's Yard, Dublin 2
Apart from this stealthily released article in the Irish Times, multi-million euro opening Lennan's Yard on Dawson Street seems to have flown under the radar for a lot of people. It's probably not helped by the fact that the website still says coming soon, there's no online booking system, and there's only a scant few posts on their social media feeds, but we're assured that the restaurant and bar are open, with a gastro pub coming before the end of the year.
It's from the same owners as Asador in Ballsbridge and Prado in Clontarf, with a former Shanahan's head chef leading the kitchen, and while we haven't seen a menu, a three-course meal is reported to set you back €65-70. The name comes from William Lennan, a saddler who was based on Dawson Street in the 1800s, and the ambitious project is on the site of the former Savills auctioneer’s premises, with a mews and original stables dating from 1780, all part of the restoration project. We're avidly awaiting the first reviews...
Romain Tessier's Arty Baker stole hearts and Instagram feeds with his stand at Sandycove Store and Yard, and now he's gone permanent with his first shop and bakery in Dalkey. They're at 20A Castle Street from Wednesday - Sunday, 08:30 until sell out, so get there early for sourdough loaves, chocolate raspberry cruffins, and jalapeno popper croissants.
This is not completely new, but Junior's in Beggar's Bush have just reopened for dinner after a few months of R&D, and the times they are a changing. The former neighbourhood café has turned into a sort of upscale American diner, with chicken and waffles, ox cheek marmalade and bone marrow on toast, and deep fried apple pie on the menu. Initial reports are very positive and we can't wait to get into this one.
Chef Adrian Martin, as seen on the Six O'Clock show, and RTE's "Chef Adrian eats Ireland" , is bringing his Wildflower restaurant to Richmond Street, next door to Doolally. The original is in Camden Market in London, where reviews have been good, and not so good.
And Filipino food truck Bahay are back next week! We'll reveal all the details you need to know later this week...