What I do is original, says McGrath as he hits out at bid to block him
CHEF Dylan McGrath has said rival business owners who have made a court bid to stop him being granted a full bar licence "can't do what I do".
The 'MasterChef Ireland' judge will learn tomorrow whether or not his ambitious new Dublin restaurant, Fade Street Social, will be able to open on Thursday with a full drinks licence.
The new establishment is located directly opposite nightclub entrepreneur John Reynolds' Market Bar -- one of a quartet of local competing pubs and restaurants which went to the Circuit Civil Court last week to object to the granting of a full licence to McGrath.
"Nobody in the area can do what I do, none of them. And what we do here is going to be unique -- just like the other offerings that I've done," said the chef.
"What they do is what they do, I'm not interested in doing what they do and they can't do what I do. What they do is what they do and it's very good," he added.
The new restaurant currently only has a licence to sell wine and beer but McGrath is hoping the court will grant him a full licence to include spirits.
He said the recession has changed the face of dining out and his concept -- serving food and drink over the bar -- has "run into licensing issues".
He added: "I've applied for that licence and there's been objections. At the end of the day we're going to keep doing what we do and we're going to try and deliver," he said.
McGrath said he was "not nervous at all" as he opens the 8,000sq ft establishment -- which features two restaurants and a bar -- in the midst of a recession.
"I just hope that we're allowed the oxygen that we need to grow because it is a huge task in recessionary times to take on a build like this," he said.
For the Michelin-starred chef, his latest venture is in keeping with these straitened times -- "affordable, approachable, casual."
Dishes have an Irish and European influence and include snacks (all under €10) such as mini lobster hotdog and baby crab toasties, along with tapas (€3.50-€7) such as potatoes cooked in beef dripping topped in hollandaise.
"I'm trying to give an offering for Irish people, where everybody can come and it's fun," explained Mr McGrath.
"I used to be part of a business where it was 180 quid for your dinner. I love that work, but now the business has changed."