McGrath gets pub licence for new venue

Wed, Oct 24, 2012, 01:00

TV’S MASTERCHEF judge Dylan McGrath was yesterday granted a full public house drinks licence for his new €1.4 million restaurant on Fade Street, Dublin.

Objections to the Circuit Civil Court granting the seven-day licence, which allows the sale of pints and shorts as well as wine, had been led by nightclub entrepreneur John Reynolds, owner of the neighbouring Market Bar.

In granting the licence yesterday Judge Matthew Deery said he accepted the word of Mr McGrath that he was first and foremost a restaurateur and had no intention of running his restaurant, known as Fade Street Social, as a public house.

Judge Deery told Constance Cassidy SC he accepted that plans presented to the court when the premises had been granted a declaratory order two years ago had not been materially changed since. He said there had been no significant change to the exterior of the former bacon-curing factory, which is in an architecturally protected area.

Judge Deery told Ms Cassidy, who appeared with Michael McGrath, that while there were five bars within the premises, none of them had a cash register, and drinks and food would be charged on a joint tab. The judge said it was significant that at no stage of the planning or licensing procedure had there been any objection by An Garda or by the fire authority, and the objectors, consisting of four bar and restaurant owners, had not lodged objections at the initial stages.

After Judge Deery’s reserved judgment Mr McGrath, joint owner of Prime Steak Restaurant 2012, which owns the restaurant, said he was delighted.

He said he held no ill-feeling towards Mr Reynolds, who had been described as leading the quartet of objectors.

“Business is business,” he said.

Mr McGrath said there had been a “soft opening” of the restaurant at the weekend but he was planning to have it fully open by tomorrow night.

Ms Cassidy asked the court to make an order granting the full seven-day public house licence and adjourn the matter of legal costs until next week.

Mr McGrath had told the court he felt the restaurant would fail if he tried to run it just as a pub.

He wanted to take advantage of his name and reputation and would employ about 60 people, including 25 chefs, who would operate in teams of seven or eight.

He said he had five bars built into Fade Street Social but they would be used as service and dining bars where customers could sit on stools to have food and drinks as well as at tables.