Sunday 16 June 2019

Fears over council's Temple Bar revamp

Temple Bar
Temple Bar

Gordon Deegan

The co-owner of Temple Bar restaurant Cafe Vivaldi said yesterday that he remains hopeful that council plans to curb restaurants' outdoor seating will not result in the closure of his business.

Robert Boyers was speaking after Dublin City Council approved plans for the overhaul of Temple Bar Square.

The square is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the capital and the council plan involves the elimination of privately-owned terraced seating at a number of restaurants in the square and putting in its place centralised seating to the east of the square.

The planning report recommending approval of the City Council application states that the proposal "will allow the size of the square to significantly increase and discontinue the encroachment of private businesses onto public lands".

Along with Cafe Vivaldi, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen and the Bad Ass Cafe objected strenuously to the removal of their outdoor seating.

Yesterday, Mr Boyers said that he remained hopeful that his restaurant's outdoor seating can remain part of the redeveloped square. "We are in negotiations with the council and we have a meeting in early January on the issue," he said.

Mr Boyers added that he and his wife Maura employ 30 people at Cafe Vivaldi and have worked very hard to build up a business there over the past 12 years.

"We are open every day from 7.30am to 12pm. Most of your time is spent here," he said.

Mr Boyers said that the restaurant only has 12 outdoor tables "and if they are taken away, that will close us down. It is a worry".

"We are in favour of the redevelopment of the square, but not at the cost of losing our business," he said.

In his submission to the council, Gourmet Burger Kitchen country manager, Ken Gilbride warned that the plans "will lead us to be forced to consider our future on the square, which could potentially mean closing the business with the loss of 24 jobs".

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