Wexford’s 10 West Bistro and CDMX owners announce new venture with National Opera House café

The La Vista Café and Restaurant team (l-r) Craig O'Toole (Director), Tiago Silva (Head Chef), Karen Doyle (Group Area Manager), Mary Long (Group Executive Head Chef) and Paul Cullen (Director).

Pádraig ByrneWexford People

Back when we were in the grips of the pandemic and were all glued to the news to find out when we were entering and exiting lockdowns, Paul Cullen and Craig O’Toole were anxiously awaiting the opening of their first business.

After a ten month wait, in August of 2021 they officially opened 10 West Bistro. Having quickly carved out a reputation as one of the go-to dining experiences in Wexford, almost exactly a year later, the duo built on their success with the opening of CDMX Mexican restaurant in Cornmarket.

Just over six months on and Paul and Craig are expanding their operation once again with the addition of ‘La Vista Café and Restaurant’ at The National Opera House.

The pair take over from outgoing proprietors Siobhán Bail and David Walsh, who have run it under the name ‘The House Bistro’ since 2020.

Taking charge of the café, which offers stunning views out over Wexford Harbour, Paul and Craig will also be responsible for running the bar at events in the National Opera House.

"We're really excited,” Paul said. “We’re getting in a bit quicker than we had expected, but we can’t wait to hit the ground running. We’ll have a baptism of fire running the bar for big Dermot Whelan and Tommy Tiernan shows this week and then next week we hope to have a launch at the café maybe on Wednesday and be fully operational from next weekend, opening Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"It’s a lovely setup here and the view is just fantastic. For one reason or another, it’s changed hands a few times over the years, but we’re hoping to bring something new to it. There’s no theme or anything as such, we’re just hoping to provide a premium café experience with a real emphasis on service.”

Drawing on the experience of their other successful offerings in town, La Vista will retain two existing staff members and hope to recruit two or three more.

In terms of the drinks end of things, the pair also hope to take advantage of contacts in the industry to improve things somewhat and expedite the process for those attending sell-out shows, while they aim to be in a position to offer pre-show dining by the time the next Wexford Festival Opera rolls around.

"I suppose we’ll have to crawl before we can walk and find our feet first,” Paul says. “But we’re really excited to get going. We would also like to wish Siobhán and David from The House Café and Bistro all the very best as they embark on their new chapter.”