'Anti-Bridezilla' wedding on cards for boomtime poster-boy Ryan
ONCE upon a time, he was the poster boy for the boom – the restaurateur with the movie star looks who entertained the likes of U2, The Corrs, the Irish rugby team and various political leaders in his establishment on Kildare Street, the Town Bar & Grill.
Then it all went pear-shaped for Ronan Ryan.
The Tipperary-born high-flier lost his two other restaurants, South in Sandyford and Bridge in Grand Canal Quay – in December 2008 and August 2009 respectively – leaving him with a personal debt of €450,000.
In June 2009, his pride and joy Town Bar & Grill went into examinership – Johnny Ronan's Treasury Holdings took over Town Bar and Grill in June 2009, when it was going into examinership and Ronan ran it for them until September 2011.
It was a very high, and very public, fall from grace, and the last few years have been tough. The good news is Ronan is getting married in September to TV star girlfriend Pamela Flood.
However, he insists their big day will be a very small, intimate affair. Ronan told the Sunday Independent: "It will be the smallest wedding ever. Maybe 50 people, just family and friends. It will be just a humanist ceremony – no best man etcetera."
Who is making Pamela's dress? "It's not that kind of wedding," he answers. "It is going to be the anti-wedding wedding. It will be the anti-Bridezilla wedding. There will be no big white guna or Pamela riding in on a white horse," Ronan says of the blonde beauty whom he met at a hen party she was at in 2007 in Town Bar & Grill. "I was married before.
"It is going to be very low-key," he added. "I don't want people saying, 'Oh look at your man having a huge wedding and he owes this much etc'."
"We won't be able to go away on honeymoon because Zach," Ronan says referring to his 12-year-old son from a previous relationship –Pamela and Ronan have a seven- month-old baby, Elsie, and a three-year-old son Harrison – "is starting secondary school that month. So we'll probably go away to Aghadoe Heights in Co Kerry."
Ryan says he doesn't know where the rumour du jour that Ross Lewis – Michelin star-winning chef of Chapter One on Parnell Square – was doing the food on the big day as a wedding present came from.
"I have no idea but it's not true," he said. "I am a chef and I will be using my chefs here to do the food," he says of his Pizza e Porchetta in the Malting Tower on Grand Canal Quay that he opened in January of this year.
Ronan added that his bride-to-be Pamela, a former Miss Ireland who presented Off the Rails for RTE, has "been great support through" the dark times and he couldn't have done it without her emotional back-up.