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Celebs flock to Oliver's newest eaterie

HE said it was going to be hip and cool and we didn't really believe him – that was until Russell Brand and Led Zeppelin decided to stop by.

Six months into his new restaurant venture, Michelin-star chef Oliver Dunne is toasting another successful year with two happy establishments now up and running in Dublin.

Since city centre haunt Cleaver East opened in the summer, a steady stream of customers including U2 frontman Bono seem keen to give his "cheap but good food" ethos a go.

Oliver said: "The thing about Cleaver East is that it's cool and hip and down-to-earth. Our ethos is that we cater for people who want to have a good time with food that isn't overly pretentious, so I think celebrities like that."

EXPERIENCE

So there was no bad behaviour from renowned ladies' man Russell Brand or notorious rock legends Led Zeppelin then?

"They were just nice guys looking for a quiet meal and that's what they got," said Oliver.

After success with his first restaurant, Bon Appetit, which opened its doors in Malahide in 2006, Oliver decided it was time for a new venture.

He teamed up with fellow Michelin-star chef Rory Carville to open Cleaver East in the Clarence Hotel last July.

And if business in the past six months is anything to go by, they are on to a winner.

"We opened in July and the turnover has been getting better each month," said Oliver.

"Myself and Rory have over 25 years' restaurant experience between us, so we knew what we were getting into."

Despite its success, Oliver said it was still early days for the restaurant, which prides itself on unique and small portions of food.

Looking back on 2013, the father-of two-said it was a moderate year for the restaurant business.

"Bon Appetit has had no increase in business in 2013, so you feel it on a personal level," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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