Saturday 18 January 2020

Fallon & Byrne outlet 'owed €140,000' to Dublin centre landlord

Rathmines outlet closed suddenly last week in the revamped Swan Centre

The Fallon and Byrne store which closed its doors, at the Swan Centre in Rathmines. Photo: Frank McGrath
The Fallon and Byrne store which closed its doors, at the Swan Centre in Rathmines. Photo: Frank McGrath

Samantha McCaughren and Sean Pollock

Fallon & Byrne Rathmines, which closed suddenly last week, is understood to have owed a significant sum in rent and service charges to its landlord the Swan Centre.

Sources said that the upmarket restaurant and food market owed around €140,000 and had entered into a repayment plan towards the end of last year.

A posting by the Swan Centre, which is owned and operated by the well-known Anderson family, on its Facebook page on Friday evening suggested that the landlord had been unaware of Fallon & Byrne's decision to close the outlet. "We are disappointed at news of the sudden closure of Fallon & Byrne in Rathmines on 31st December, and our thoughts are with the staff who are affected during this very difficult time," the comment said.

Fallon & Byrne opened in Rathmines in 2017 following a significant investment by the Swan Centre in a new layout which was largely designed to facilitate the food company.

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Property sources said that around €1.5m was spent by the shopping centre on the layout changes, which involved opening a terraced seating area, as well as a number of unrelated retail units.

It is understood that Fallon & Byrne had an 18-month rent-free period and began its rent-paying period around nine months ago.

Several hundreds of thousands of euro was also invested in the internal fitout by Fallon & Byrne, with extremely high-end materials used.

It is understood that a key contractor is still seeking a significant payment for work on the project.

Fallon & Byrne did not respond to queries from the Sunday Independent.

The business was opened by property developer Paul Byrne and his wife, Fiona McHugh, a former editor of the Irish edition of the Sunday Times, in 2006.

According to a staff source, on New Year's Eve, staff were asked to remove stock and other fittings as part of a 'deep-clean' exercise.

A number of sources said a truck was seen in the early hours of New Year's Day taking stock and equipment away.

According to a former staff member, those who lost their jobs at Rathmines have since received a message from an employee of Fallon & Byrne stating that they will receive their pay 'as normal' this Thursday.

Last Thursday, Fallon & Byrne confirmed it was closing the loss-making Rathmines store.

Its flagship Exchequer Street and Dún Laoghaire stores are unaffected.

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