Saturday 10 December 2016

The Edge: Restaurateur to the celebs Ryan to set his own course

Published 15/06/2015 | 02:30

Pamela is happily married to restaurateur Ronan Ryan
Pamela is happily married to restaurateur Ronan Ryan
Anniversary bash: Louis Walsh, Rhona Blake and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Baby joy: For beautiful Brooke and her husband Ken Rohan
L'Ecrivain buzz: Pierce Brosnan created a frisson
US trip: Daithi O Se went to the States to join his wife and son. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Way to the west: Edna O'Brien, in Sligo, went on a road trip with Eamon Farrell and Steven Mannion.
Road trip: Eamon Farrell and Steven Mannion

The Ronan Empire is set to rise again. But, alas, not in the Grand Canal Dock. . .

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Ronan Ryan has left what used to be Pizza e Porchetta - the super-trendy Italian eatery that he and Michelin-starred superstar of Chapter One Ross Lewis revamped and renamed Osteria Lucio to much media ballyhoo earlier this year - at the Malting Tower on Grand Canal Dock.

"I left in May," Ronan told me.

"It was sold [to Ross] in November and I stayed on with Ross for six months as part of the deal. I learned lots from Ross. But I have to work for myself again."

One of the country's most high-profile restaurateurs, Ronan ran Town Bar & Grill on Kildare Street for nearly a decade in its heyday - feeding Bono, movie stars, the Ireland rugby team and various political leaders among others during the boom.

Your diarist very kindly isn't mentioning Ryan's ill-fated restaurant South in Sandyford back in the day, OK?

Breaking diners' hearts, Ronan - who has matinee idol good looks - left Town Bar & Grill in 2011 after failing to buy the business from owners Johnny Ronan's Treasury Holdings.

Mr Ryan has since been involved in various restaurant ventures including La Stampa, and Bite.

With all he has learned from Mr Lewis, whose Osteria Lucio continues to be a great success, Ro told me excitedly that he has grand plans for the very near future.

"I'm opening a new restaurant in the city centre in Dublin with a couple of investors in September."

"It's going to be a Californian/Italian place," added Ronan, who is married to one-time Miss Ireland and former Off The Rails presenter on RTE, Pamela Flood. They have two children.

No doubt the new place will be absolutely flooded with celebrity diners (the aforementioned Bono, movie stars, the Ireland rugby team and various political leaders) looking for the elusive Ryan restaurant buzz.

I wish him all the best in September.

Until then, the Ryan Line is now closed.

Enda comes to the aid of the party

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, to quote that 19th-Century rent-a-quote Oscar Wilde, and that is not being talked about.

I think I can say without fear of contradiction that Rhona Blake and her team at FleishmanHillard have ensured that this maxim will always ring true. So true, in fact, that on Thursday night in The Marker hotel in Dublin everyone from Enda Kenny to Louis Walsh pitched up to help ravishing Rhona and the directors of Ireland's premier PR company celebrate its 25th birthday. Yes - Enda came to the aid of the party.

"Tonight has been so special for us. Having two Mayo men celebrate with us - our leader An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Louis Walsh, who thinks FleishmanHillard have the X Factor - has certainly made this a night to remember," Ms Blake, who is from Ballsbridge and an ex Mount Anville girl, told me, flanked by her dashing husband Charlie Murless.

Others who contributed to it being a great night included Matt Cooper, Ivan Yates, Alison Comyn, and of course, the incomparable John Saunders, who founded the company all those years ago, with his ever-glamourous wife Jean. Enda made reference in his speech to Saunders' contribution to "the positivity of Irish life."

Rhona said in her speech "I have the best job in the world. John Saunders says he rescued me from the gutter when he gave me the job 25 years ago!"

Wilde also said something about how some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go. So, for your diarist, the bash wasn't quite the same when Rhona went home with Charlie at about midnight.

Beauty Brooke has baby boy

Your diarist can call her Lady Ga Ga Goo Goo. The supremely gorgeous Brooke McVeigh has just had a baby.

A boy two weeks ago in London, in fact.

This will be the second child for Brooke and her husband Ken Rohan junior. Family and friends flew over to met the new arrival.

Brooke, the daughter of Trevor and Marian McVeigh, had her baby shower in The Kensington hotel last month with a gang of glam gal pals.

Thanks to Brooke, dashing Ken junior - who is a scion of Ken Rohan senior's property dynasty - now has two juniors of his own.

The couple got engaged in Hong Kong in late September 2009 and two weeks later, they held an engagement party at her parents' house in south Dublin.

They married in great style in the Co Wicklow mansion of the groom's multi-millionaire parents' estate in county Wicklow in July 2011.

Brooke and Ken, who are based in England, will soon have to look for a bigger mansion for their brood if they keep making beautiful little babies.

Either way, I wish them many nappy returns.

That Brosnan buzz hits L'Ecrivain

Where would you get it on a Tuesday night? Probably not even in LA or St Tropez. Pierce Brosnan was in L'Ecrivain on Tuesday  having dinner.

The mere presence of the movie star - the fella from Navan who went on to play James Bond and become the toast of Hollywood - created quite a frisson in the famous restaurant on Lower Baggot Street.

How do I know this? I was at my usual corner table - (not) minding my own business.

The same day, English supermodel and TV star Jodie Kidd was in Castlemartyr Resort in county Cork.

Meanwhile, back in D4, comedian extraordinaire Oliver Callan was in Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill in Donnybrook with a gang of six friends last Sunday.

The previous day, one of my favourite former taoisigh, John Bruton, was in the third-floor restaurant in Brown Thomas on Grafton Street enjoying lunch with his wife and family.

His lovely wife Finola was looking, said my Deep Throat, radiant.

Well, if you can't be radiant in BTs where can you be?

Daithi flies out to US to join Rita and baby

The nation voted a resounding yes in the marriage referendum recently. Be that as it may, the words - albeit the  coo-ing first words - out of the mouth of Daithi O Se and Rita Talty's baby Micheal Og are markedly different.

"He has a few words like Mam and Dad and No. No is a big one," the RTE star told me last week from New Jersey, where he was on a brief holiday with Rita and their baby.

Daithi flew out last Monday from Shannon to surprise Rita - a former New Jersey Rose of Tralee, who has been in America for the last month, visiting her family.

The popular Kerryman, who flew home yesterday, is filming A Taste Of Success in Dun Laoghaire today.

Daithi will resume his on-screen partnership with Maura Derrane on the Today show once the programme returns after its summer breather.

Tomorrow, Daithi is travelling to Cork for some voice-over work and then home to Salthill in Galway.

He will be home alone as Rita and Micheal Og are staying on in the States for another little bit. The former Miss New Jersey Rose will have her hands full with the baba. "He's 15 months old and walking since he was 10 months," Daithi explained. "You could find him anywhere."

A bit like his oul' fella.

Eamon and Steve arise and go to hang  out with Edna

Eamon Farrell and Steven Mannion are not just Ireland's coolest gay married couple, They also attract the coolest people too. Well, you can't get much cooler than Edna O'Brien, can you?

On Tuesday, Steve and Eamo went on a suitably novelistic "road-trip" from Dublin to Sligo with the doyenne herself and a "lovely director", Shevaun Wilder for the Yeats 150 event.

"Edna is gorgeous! Very intelligent, smart, funny and incredibly glamorous, She was speaking at Yeats 150," Steven - whose work has, lest we forget, been largely inspired by William Butler Yeats - told me from Sligo, where he and Eamo were hanging out with their bessy mate, Ms O'Brien.

Maybe she'll immortalise them in a book? The Country Boys?

Further east, to Leeson Street in Dublin. . .

Last weekend John McGinley (Dr Cox from Scrubs) was in House in with his brother. On Friday, they were drinking pints of Heineken for the night - which for them began at 12.45am when they arrived in the chic establishment and finished at closing time. Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham joined them.

On the Saturday night Xposé star Glenda Gilson, rocking the low-key rock-chick look in a baseball cap, was in the VIP garden area of House.

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