‘Business as usual’ at Elephant & Castle after Press Up buys restaurant

Temple Bar landmark snapped up by the country’s largest hospitality group

A spokeswoman for Press Up said there are no changes planned for the Elephant and Castle in the immediate term. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

A spokeswoman for Press Up said there are no changes planned for the Elephant and Castle in the immediate term. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

 

One of Dublin’s most popular restaurants, the Elephant & Castle, has been acquired by Paddy McKillen jnr’s Press Up Entertainment Group for an undisclosed sum.

The Temple Bar landmark, which has become well known to tourists and locals due to the popularity of its chicken wings, opened in 1989.

Press Up acquired the business from the family of US restaurateur Dr George Schwarz, who set up the original Elephant And Castle in Greenwich Village, New York in 1973.

Dr Schwarz, who died last December, took over the Dublin branch in 2001, when Elizabeth Mee and John Hayes, who previously worked for the businessman, established the Temple Bar version after returning to Ireland from the US in the late 1980s.

Press Up is one of the State’s largest hospitality groups with interests in hotels, bars, restaurants, music venues and nightclubs. Owned by Mr McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan, its portfolio includes the Dean Hotel, Roberta’s, Cleaver East, Angelina’s, WowBurger, Peruke & Periwig, the Liquor Rooms and Everleigh Gardens. It also operates the Wagamama franchise and owns Tower Records and Muji.

Refurbished

Last month the group opened the refurbished Stella cinema in Rathmines. It is also looking to develop a boutique hotel in Ranelagh and one at the site of the the Howl At The Moon pub on Mount Street Lower, which it acquired for an estimated €3.2 million in 2016.

The last available accounts for Orsen Limited, the parent of Press Up, showed it recorded revenues of €42.9 million in 2015, a year in which pretax profits almost doubled to €1.88 million. The group employs almost 1,100 people in Ireland.

A spokeswoman for Press Up said there are no changes planned for the Elephant & Castle in the immediate terms.

Recent accounts filed for Elephant & Castle Limited, which employed 47 people in 2016, show shareholders’ funds declined from €108, 201 to €18,989 last year.

The Temple Bar retail block which includes the restaurant recently went on sale for €11.75 million.