Subscriber OnlyFood

First Look: Inside Chequer Lane, Jamie Oliver’s new Dublin city centre restaurant

The TV chef’s latest Dublin restaurant, which puts an emphasis on seasonal Irish ingredients, opens on Tuesday, October 11th

What is it?

The second Dublin restaurant from TV chef and entrepreneur Jamie Oliver and Irish restaurateur Gerry Fitzpatrick is opening this week – after significant delays due to the pandemic. Fitzpatrick’s family has been involved in the market gardening, catering and restaurant businesses in Dublin for more than 75 years. The pair are also partners in Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Dundrum Town Centre. Chequer Lane will seat more than 100 customers, on two floors, including a private dining space at basement level called The Parlour. It is located on a corner site at 27 Exchequer Street.

“When Jamie’s Italian had a wobble in the UK, I met Jamie, we went through things and I said what do you want to do about Dublin? I’d like to do amazing seafood and amazing steaks in this location. And this is what we came up with,” Fitzpatrick says. “It’s casual dining, but we want it to be a lively, bustling atmosphere.”

What does it look like?

Oliver describes the interior fit out, designed by his own team, as “smart, fresh and comfortable”. “We’re not trying to be trendy. We’re trying to be classic and we want you to come in and be immediately comfortable.” Comfort is also mentioned by Fitzpatrick. “It’s old fashioned, I like it. I wanted people to look in and see a real comfort zone.”

Diners entering from Exchequer Street, which will be visible through huge glass windows, will be greeted by a substantial bar where counter dining will be available. Original brickwork has been exposed, there are wooden floors and walls painted two shades of green, as well as feature walls papered with what looks like a William Morris print.


Four pieces were commissioned from Dublin artist Sean Hillen, along with prints sourced from Jam Art Factory in the Liberties. A giant 9½kg salmon mounted in a glass case over a fireplace might divide opinion. It was caught in the west of Ireland by Fitzpatrick, a keen fly fisherman who had the fish treated by a taxidermist.

What’s on the menu?

Seasonal Irish ingredients were the starting point for the short menu, which has nibbles, seven starters, five main courses, a grill section, and a seafood platter for two with oysters, Dublin Bay prawns, dressed crab and pickled mussels. There is also a specials board, a pie of the day, and a choice of Sunday roasts for meat eaters and vegetarians. Prices for starters run from €12-€16, with main courses €17-€56. The upper price is for a mixed grill for two – a meat feast of coffee rubbed lamb chops, Flat Iron steak, Cumberland sausage, bone marrow and toast.

Suppliers are name-checked and identified on a map on the back of the menu. From the sea suppliers are Kish Fish and Achill Island sea salt. From the land includes beef and lamb from Gilligan’s Farm and pork from Andarl Farm. Jane Russell will supply pork products. Cheese is from Gleneely Foods, butter from Glenilen Farm, milk and cream from The Village Dairy, and ice-cream from Coolhull Farm. From the soil suppliers are Caterway for fruit and veg, sourdough breads from Roundstone Bakehouse, apple juice, cider and sparkling wine from Llewellyn Orchard, and beetroot juice from Feighery’s Farm.

“It is the best of the best of what we can get,” Fitzpatrick says. “I know a lot of these people, we’ve used them before. It’s a small enough menu, with the idea of changing it again in the spring. We’re not trying to educate people here, we’re just giving them what we think they’ll love and that they know, and a good night out as well.”

At a pre-opening tasting of dishes from the menu in London, the black pudding Scotch egg, and – rather improbably listed on the dessert menu – the cheese toastie (Tipperary Brie, Hegarty’s Cheddar, Parmesan, sticky onions and black truffle), were highlights

And to drink?

There is a full licence and an extensive cocktail list majoring in Irish whiskey. Wine by the glass is available in two sizes, and the full wine list includes David Llewellyn’s Lusca sparkling cabernet sauvignon made in north Co Dublin. Llewellyn’s Double L cider is also available.

Who are the key staff?

The head chef is Stefan Salamon, who is 29 and originally from Poland. He comes to this venture from a restaurant in the Dominican Republic. His previous experience in Ireland includes stints at the Cliff House, in Co Waterford, and Casper & Giumbini, in Dún Laoghaire, in south Co Dublin. The general manager is Simone Volante, who ran the Passione restaurants on the Wild Atlantic Way for 10 years, until 2019.

Best table in the house?

There is a giant booth seating 10 comfortably, situated just beyond the bar, and this has all the potential to become a popular party spot.

When can I try it?

Chequer Lane by Jamie Oliver opens on Tuesday, October 11th. It will be open seven days a week, noon to late. For bookings: or 01-4992424.