Friday 23 February 2018

O'Brien's sandwich bar founder sues his former partner

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE founder of O'Brien's Sandwich bars, Brody Sweeney, has initiated legal action against entrepreneur Jay Bourke.

The two food operators were involved with Cafe Bar Deli (Franchising), set up in 2007, and announced plans to develop the franchising concept of the popular Dublin restaurant.

But the company was dissolved in 2010.

Now, Mr Sweeney is seeking summary judgment against Mr Bourke and his company Sherland Entertainments – the first stage in legal proceedings to recover a debt.

Mr Bourke estimated the amount being claimed by Mr Sweeney at about €200,000, but said he believed the pair could work it out "around the table".

"I'm not liable for anything," Mr Bourke said.

"It's very unfortunate. I'm sure we'll work it out. He's a friend of mine and I fully expect to work it out around the table.

"Unfortunately sometimes in business you have rows."

Attempts by the Irish Independent to contact Mr Sweeney proved unsuccessful.

Since the recession began, Mr Bourke has faced a battle to keep his once thriving string of restaurants and trendy bars open.


Mr Sweeney's well-known chain of sandwich bars went into liquidation in 2009, and was subsequently bought by Abrakebabra.

Cafe Bar Deli (Franchising) was dissolved in 2010.

Mr Sweeney has since founded a Thai cuisine takeaway business, Camile, which has branches in a variety of Dublin locations including Dun Laoghaire, Phibsborough, and, most recently, in Rathmines.

In July, Mr Bourke opened another Eden Restaurant in South William Street, just a stone's throw away from his well-known Temple Bar haunt.

He said business was good.

"It's going very well," he said.

"That's a downwards rent situation and the rent is half it would have been during the Celtic Tiger.

"And it's become a really good location. South William Street has become the hub of Dublin," he added.

Irish Independent

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