When chef and restaurateur JP McMahon got Galway's first Michelin star for his eatery Aniar in 2013, it was a dream moment to relish for the family-run business.
Now, the culinary champion for the City of Tribes says the venue will not be reopening its doors on June 29 if the two-metre rule for restaurants stays in place, as he says it's a "suicide run" at the entire industry.
Mr McMahon, whose EatGalway group oversees three venues including the acclaimed Aniar, said it will spell disaster for the industry as he feels Fáilte Ireland's reopening guidelines are not workable.
He said one metre would give businesses a fighting chance, but it would still be a struggle.
"I don't think two metres is practical at all; it's the craziest thing anyone has ever come up with. I'm not a scientist, but I've read the science and there is no more science to two metres than one metre. These are just guidelines and the WHO (World Health Organisation) changes its opinion," he told the Irish Independent.
"There is no conclusion as to whether or not one metre will keep you safer. But two metres is a suicide run at the industry. I can't imagine most places being able to open and if they do, they're opening with their blinkers on.
"I'm not naive; if we open with the two-metre rule, we know that we're not going to last that long.
"The Covid payment ends in August and the minute that ends, that's it."
Along with wife Drigin Garrey, he also runs Tartare café and Cava Bodega in Galway city, which have been operating as takeaways.
He labelled the guidelines "confusing" and said it is causing a lot of anxiety.
"It says the waiter should be two metres away taking the order. But that means he'll be on top of another table. Some of it seems very impractical," he said.
He said Aniar will be hit the hardest by the social distancing measures and the lack of tourism.
The new guidelines coupled with the expected fall in business mean Aniar will be operating at just 40pc of its usual capacity - with just eight covers available, down from 24.
"Even with the one metre, I'm still very worried about Aniar because we have no tourism this year and 75pc of our guests are tourists, sometimes they're all Americans. Will that be replaced with Irish people? I don't know," he said.
"This could close Aniar and that's one of the things that we know in reality, that it may happen and it is sad to see 10 years' work stopped."
He said the guidelines are putting the jobs of 80,000 industry workers at risk.
"That's a massive figure, that's 80,000 people's health at risk. The human impact of these guidelines is not being thought through, how they will affect people," he said.
He normally has 45 staff and at the moment, he has 12. He said he feels "powerless" to plan for the next few weeks until he sees the final decision on the one- or two-metre rule.
He needs to guarantee staff they will have 40 hours of work a week and he is reluctant to ask anyone to come off the Covid payment as they can't go back on it.
"With the two-metre rule, we might go up to 15 staff, but with the one-metre rule, it might go up to 25 or even 30. We can't just open to make a loss, just to lose money. We're in this 12 years and if we look at the figures, we should be responsible and say, 'We should not open'," he said.