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Unicorn closes for revamp and management change

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WAITING: Restaurant staff say goodbye to each other   as the internationally famous eatery shut its doors

WAITING: Restaurant staff say goodbye to each other as the internationally famous eatery shut its doors

WAITING: Restaurant staff say goodbye to each other as the internationally famous eatery shut its doors

ICONIC Dublin restaurant Unicorn has closed for renovations, and will reopen under new management in a few weeks.

Regulars at the Merrion Row eatery were stunned at an announcement online yesterday that appeared to indicate that the restaurant had closed for good.

"Giorgio, Noreen and Rudy would like to thank you all for the wonderful 18 years that we have had here at the Unicorn," the message said.

"Circumstances have meant we have to leave and the restaurant is now closed." But director Pia Bang has insisted that the restaurant will reopen under new management.

Giorgio Casari, who has fronted the Unicorn for 15 years and is a director and majority shareholder of Vino Classico, has parted ways with the Unicorn, as has his wife Noreen and son Rudy.

Jeff Stokes, husband of Pia Bang, is landlord of the building. It is understood that tensions have been high between Casari and Stokes for months.

 

PREMISES

In January last year, Stokes issued a notice to Vino Classico, which owns The Unicorn, to leave the building within four weeks.

"We are closed for renovations since yesterday," Pia Bang said, "and will reopen in a few weeks under new management.

"It is unlikely that Giorgio will be part of it."

In February a court ruled that the premises that housed the VIP piano bar and nightclub part of the Unicorn could be repossessed by its South African-based owners.

The repossession of No 5 Merrion Court almost halved the area of the Unicorn.

The restaurant has hosted an impressive list of clients including Bill Clinton, Bono, Tony Blair and Hollywood stars Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson.

In March last year, Springmanor Ltd, the company that previously operated the restaurant, collapsed owing €2m.

Vino Classico, the company that took over the Unicorn, was struck off in August last year for failing to file an annual return that had been due in May 2011.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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