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Gorey restaurant to reopen under new management in February


Eco in Gorey.

Eco in Gorey.

Eco in Gorey.


Twenty-one years after founding Eco, David Lavelle and Alf Marsden have decided to call it a day but the restaurant will remain part of Gorey town as they’ll soon hand over the reins to new owners.

Chefs Ahmed Chowbury and Adil Hussein have taken on the business and in early February, they hope to welcome diners back to the popular Main Street restaurant. Having served as chefs in Eco and in many other restaurants, the two French chefs know exactly what to bring to the table.

"All things must pass but we are glad we are passing it on to someone else. We’re delighted that Eco is going to continue,” said David. “I think it’s going to fly for Ahmed and Adil. They’ve all the energy under the sun, which is what it needs. It really needs that injection of youth.

Food-wise, it is going to be exactly same. There might be some new additions over time.”

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In December, David and Alf made the difficult decision to close the doors of Eco due to crippling energy costs. The restaurant has remained closed since then as the pair tried to find someone willing and able to take the business on.

"We became aware in early April of last year of our energy costs literally increasing by 250 per cent. I was talking to other people in the business and they didn’t know what we were talking about as they were still in the same contract. It only started to manifest for people in summer. We have been taking massive energy costs since last April. It was difficult to sustain. Food started increasing in price because energy was increasing in price,” he said. “In reality, we couldn’t pass on the full costs to the customer as it would empty the restaurant. That was really difficult for us.”

"That started bringing us into a negative financial position. We had to pull the plug before we started losing more money, and we were already losing money. If we weren’t making money in the summer, which we weren’t, we knew we were facing a serious problem.”

With energy costs now decreasing and the prospect of Ahmed and Adil obtaining another energy contract from April, David thinks the pair will be in a better position.

Eco was established in 2002 on 31 Main Street before it was moved to 50 Main Street in 2009. 

"The partnership is myself and Alf. Alf always looked after the kitchen and I’ve been the front-of-house guy. We tried lots of different ideas over the years. I remember when we only opened, we weren’t sure if it would work at all. I have this memory of walking around the tables and asking an elderly couple how everything was. They were delighted with their meal. Then there was a very young couple and they were delighted with everything too. I remember thinking that this must be really good if we are connecting with people who are hardly even 20, and we are connecting to people in their seventies.

There’s such a wide spectrum of people who have come into us. We made loads of friends over the years, the madder the better! Eco has become a hangout place for a lot of people.”

While David and Alf don’t have any immediate plans for new ventures just yet, David is sure they will explore new areas in time.

"Watch this space!” he said.