From car showroom to neighbourhood deli: Lotts & Co
Barry and Paul McNerney’s foodie empire in Dublin 4 grows
Lotts & Co
- 7 South Lotts Road, Beggars Bush, Dublin 4
Over the past decade Barry and Paul McNerney have left their mark on the crossroads at Beggars Bush of Dublin 4. Between opening Junior’s on Bath Avenue in 2008 and Paulie’s Pizza around the corner on Upper Grand Canal Street in 2010, as well as being partners in the excellent gastropub The Old Spot on Bath Avenue, these brothers and their teams have made this little patch of Dublin 4 considerably tastier.
In the summer of 2013, they opened Lotts & Co on South Lotts Road, a deli and grocer in a beautifully repurposed former car showroom. “I always tell customers it’s the best office in the world,” says Rory English, the general manager whose food retail pedigree includes time spent at Fallon & Byrne in Dublin’s city centre.
There are similarities between these two Dublin delis (Lotts & Co is the only other place in the city that I’ve seen Lucky Charms for sale) but Lotts & Co is offering a similar range of goods under a much smaller roof on a less beaten track. FX Buckley has a butcher counter and there’s a decent selection of fresh fish supplied by Niall Sabongi’s company, Sustainable Seafood Ireland, and Ocean Marine run by the Rogerson family in Monkstown.
In the deli, flaky pastry quiches and pies are supplied by Freshcut Foods, Donal Skehan’s family’s business. The breads on sale and in the sandwiches are from the Bretzel Bakery in Portobello and the wholesale artisan bakery Nature de Pain located near the Red Cow roundabout. “We’re making almost 90 per cent of everything available in the deli ourselves, such as the cakes and sandwich fillers.”
On the shelves of the grocery are the usual delicious suspects, including Maldon salts, fresh fruit and vegetables, Ummera smoked chicken, Burren Smokehouse salmon, Glenilen Farm dairy products, cheese from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Bean & Goose chocolates and a carefully curated wine selection.
Pick up a picnic
Lotts & Co makes a perfect pitstop en route to Sandymount strand for a windy walk with a friend. We stock up on coffees and doughnut holes for the journey. The coffees are made with the excellent Cloudpicker Coffee, roasted a 10-minute drive away on North Dock. The doughnut holes are brought in frozen from a supplier in Paris and six doughnut holes oozing with fillings including classic custard are a tidy €5. They’ve survived the journey from Paris well but I do wonder whether Lotts & Co could tap into the local trend of Dublin-baked doughnuts .
“It’s a question of getting the balance right between the shelf-life of a product and the footfall we have here,” explains English. “We’re trying to control the amount of waste by being careful about the division of what we source, sell and make ourselves.”
As part of our beach haul, we share a chicken sandwich from the rotisserie (€6.50). The chicken is from Manor Farm and free-range chickens are available to buy. The sourdough bread from Bretzel Bakery is soft yet strong, and the sandwich is topped off with Lotts & Co’s own green basil pesto (€3.95 by the tub). The ultimate picnic loot, a scotch egg, is made at Lotts & Co and served cold as is traditional, though I think scotch eggs taste best fresh out of the fryer.
Like most thoughtfully-stocked specialist food stores, this is an all-too-easy place to spend money. The McNerneys and their team have pulled together some show-stopping suppliers under one roof and the quality of produce here is worth the price tag. There are a couple of benches outside the space but this is more of a grab-and-go kind of spot. There is paid parking along South Lotts Road and Sandymount strand is less than a 10-minute drive away.