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Resturant closure victims are set to come back with a bang

RECESSION-HIT Dublin eateries Bang Café and Locks restaurant look set to enjoy a new lease of life in the coming months.

Despite the country's recessionary woes, the Herald has learned that a number of well-heeled buyers have come forward to express an interest in taking the empty establishments off the market.

The owner of One Pico restaurant and Bleu Bistro, Eamonn O'Reilly, is currently in the final stages of negotiations to add the Portobello premises, formerly known as Locks restaurant, to his stock.

Widely known as one of the country's best chefs and restaurateurs, O'Reilly is now keen to reinvigorate the Southside venue, which had become synonymous with fine food and opulence before it closed its doors last November.

The exclusive restaurant opened just two years earlier and was regularly frequented by celebrities including Hollywood A-listers Kim Cattrall and Daniel Radcliffe.

The One Pico owner confirmed to Herald that he has expressed an interest in buying the premises, but said no deal had been signed to date.

O'Reilly, who also runs a successful consultancy business, is believed to have made a pitch for Merrion Row restaurant Bang Café prior to this, but was pipped to the post by another buyer.

The city-centre restaurant, formerly owned by identical twins Christian and Simon Stokes (34), is now in the process of being sold to a private bidder.

The establishment is due to reopen its doors in the coming months and is expected to continue trading under the name Bang.

Chartered accountant Jim Stafford of Friel Stafford Corporate Recovery confirmed that the sale is currently being negotiated.

"We can't say anything about Bang at the moment," Mr Stafford said. "It hasn't been sold yet but it's in the process of being sold."

His business partner, Tom Murray, was appointed liquidator to Mayfair Properties, the company behind the exclusive restaurant which opened in 1999.