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Thursday 8 December 2016

Lavish fare for diners with an expensive lifestyle

Mark Hilliard

Published 31/12/2011 | 05:00

FALLON & Byrne opened its doors on Dublin's Exchequer Street in 2006 in an era when fine dining was to everyone's taste.

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Its objectives were simple -- to provide the best of food and wine to those who sought it and to serve it in a variety of ways.

While the produce wasn't cheap, that suited the Celtic Tiger lifestyle that most Irish people were living at the time.

Its supermarket is stocked with luxury and often expensive goods, while customers can also choose to eat in the restaurant or nibble on snacks in the basement wine bar.

The three-storey city centre premises has become a venue for high-end wedding receptions and functions.

Over its six years of business, Fallon & Byrne has been held in high regard -- last year it was tipped as a potential anchor business for the redevelopment of Dublin's Victorian Fruit and Vegetable Market in Smithfield.

Established by building contractor Paul Byrne, his wife former 'Sunday Times' editor Fiona McHugh, and their then business partner Brian Fallon, its ability to produce a profit has not always been as reliable as its ability to produce fine food.

Shockwaves

In an interview earlier this year, Ms McHugh said: "We threw everything we had at it, including money from the sale of Paul's house, without really thinking about the risk involved."

That risk later became apparent.

Accounts filed in September 2010 showed that profits collapsed by 96pc to just €8,791.

The directors attributed the plunge to "the general economic environment" which had sent shockwaves throughout the retail industry.

In the same month, Fallon & Byrne were ordered to pay more than €730,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties to the Revenue Commissioners, who found they had under-declared their VAT payment bill.

Accounts published last October showed pre-tax profits increased from €8,791 in 2009 to nearly €80,000 last year.

Irish Independent

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