Carluccio’s to expand in Dublin city centre after buying back franchise
Company keen to open in the capital’s southern suburbs
Mr Kossoff described the troubled history of the Dawson Street business as one of “enormous frustration”. Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons
Italian restaurant and deli chain Carluccio’s is examining sites for a new restaurant close to Dublin’s Grafton Street and is also keen to open in the capital’s southern suburbs. Chief executive Simon Kossoff said the company was also interested in Dundrum Town Centre and Kildare Village, while he was “aware of places like Stillorgan”.
Mr Kossoff visited Dublin during the week to assist with the reopening of the chain’s existing outlet in Dawson Street. The restaurant closed for refurbishment late last month after Carluccio’s bought back its Irish franchise from a group of investors including former KPMG managing partner, Ron Bolger, and former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, Peter Murray. The group is believed to have spent more than €4 million on the business before letting it go.
Mr Kossoff says he is seeking premises no smaller than 279sq m (3,000 sq ft), and is particularly keen on the northern end of South William Street in Dublin, while he would also consider the city’s northside riverbank. He said the company would investigate Cork “in time”, while “there is a debate going on about Galway”. Belfast is also likely to feature in expansion plans.
Mr Kossoff described the troubled history of the Dawson Street business as one of “enormous frustration” that culminated in Carluccio’s seeking to buy back the franchise more than a year ago. The ex-franchisees had struggled to succeed with the business, which opened in 2008, because of the high rents on the building it occupied.
The franchise buyback was coupled with a rent reduction in the region of 50 per cent on the almost-€700,000 the original franchise-holders were reported to have paid.
The new arrangement makes the Dawson Street business more stable and sustainable, Mr Kossoff said.