Premises of Michelin-starred restaurant L’Ecrivain sold for €2m

Derry Clarke reveals the name of his new venture in Temple Bar will be Eliza’s

Derry Clarke on L’Ecrivain: ‘It was strange locking the door there, but that’s it.’The two adjoining buildings comprise approximately 613sq m and are located at 109a Lower Baggot Street.

Derry Clarke on L’Ecrivain: ‘It was strange locking the door there, but that’s it.’The two adjoining buildings comprise approximately 613sq m and are located at 109a Lower Baggot Street.

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The premises of the Michelin-starred Dublin city centre restaurant L’Ecrivain has been sold to a well-established Irish company for about €2 million and will be used as its city centre headquarters following a private treaty sale process.

The restaurant, opened by Derry and Sallyanne Clarke in July 1989, has been closed for a time due to Covid-19 public health restrictions.

Derry and Sallyanne Clarke had planned to close the restaurant permanently in July as they advanced plans to move to a new venture in Dublin’s Temple Bar. However, they kept the restaurant open longer than planned to accommodate customers holding vouchers.

They are currently progressing with plans to open a boutique hotel called Eliza’s, situated close to Millennium Bridge in Temple Bar.

In a statement, North’s Property confirmed that the L’Ecrivain premises has been sold. The two adjoining buildings comprise about 613sq m and are located at 109a Lower Baggot Street.

L’Ecrivain provided fine dining to residents and visitors to Dublin given its location in the heart of the city’s Georgian district with its mix of hotels, government departments, professional service providers and a growing amount of prime office building.

There are some 100,000sq ms of modern offices nearing completion in the locality.

North’s Property said there was “strong interest” from restaurant operators and investors “looking to continue the tradition of dining in these buildings which have been lovingly developed over the years by the Clarkes”.

‘Quality hospitality’

However, the group said it understood that the property would not continue as a restaurant as it has been purchased by a “well-established Irish firm as its city centre headquarters”.

The premises was offered for sale at a quoting price of €2 million and North’s Property said the sale price was in the region of this level. It added that the Clarkes intend to continue offering “quality hospitality”.

Speaking about the new venture in Temple Bar, which is expected to serve simpler food than L’Ecrivain’s French classical cuisine, Mr Clarke said he hoped it would be open by late summer once construction work on the site resumes next month.

“Obviously with Covid we don’t know what’s going to happen but all going well and all guns blazing we hope to be open by late summer,” he told The Irish Times on Tuesday.

The boutique hotel will have a full bar and restaurant, and Mr Clarke has two partners in the venture.

“We’re out of L’Ecrivain after 31 years there,” he said. “It was strange locking the door there, but that’s it. We had good times there, good customers, good suppliers, good teams, so good memories of the place.”