At the height of the Celtic Tiger era, Cruzzo’s had 110 staff and 17 chefs, and as restaurants go, was firmly on the map as one of the go-to spots for the discerning diners of Malahide and the surrounding north Dublin suburbs of Howth, Sutton, Portmarnock and Kinsealy.
Over the years, the popular seafront venue was frequented by Ireland's two most-recent northside taoisigh, namely the late Charles J Haughey and his successor as leader of Fianna Fáil, Bertie Ahern. In the case of the former, legend has it that he liked his table to be at the window so that he could look out at his yacht, Celtic Mist, when it was moored in the marina below. Ahern didn't share the same pretensions when it came to breaking bread.
Cruzzo’s closed its doors in 2012 and while the property has laid dormant for a number of years, the views of Malahide Marina and Lambay Island that Haughey once enjoyed so much remain. This week the building takes on a new lease of life in its new guise as what is arguably Dublin’s most attractive serviced office space.
The idea for The View, as it will be known, stems from a discussion Kate Fitzmaurice had with her husband, Richard, about the length of time she was spending each week commuting to and from Dublin city centre for work. While her employer supports parents working from home, Kate found herself working from local coffee shops just to get out of the house. As it's a dilemma that many people face, the Fitzmaurices took it as their opportunity to create a new business.
Richard and his two brothers, Bernard and Marcus, who together own and run the well-known B & G Construction worked with architects and interior design specialists, Oppermann Associates, on plans and costings for a serviced office space, and presented their idea to the owner of the former Cruzzo's restaurant, Arthur Molloy.
Molloy had already been considering the building's future prior to their approach, and agreed to reinvest to transform the property into The View. Following the receipt of planning permission in March of last year, work got underway on a €1 million refurbishment and repurposing of the former restaurant. The View's developer and director, Richard Fitzmaurice, says: "Our first hurdle was the stilts. A full structural report had to be carried out initially as the building sits on stilts over the sea – there aren't many buildings like it.
“The biggest obstacle of the build was the introduction of a complete mechanical and electrical package worth €400,000 to bring the property up to the highest standards of energy performance and efficiency. On the fit-out side, my wife and fellow director, Kate, comes from a family of interior designers, so she took the lead and worked closely with Des Warren and Amie Sheils of Oppermann Associates while on maternity leave.”
Asked what The View can offer in the aftermath of coronavirus’s impact on working life, Fitzmaurice says: “With Covid-19 employees are now feeling the need, more than ever, to separate work and family home life. Thankfully, that is going to make The View a very attractive choice for many. We are already seeing business owners, company directors and senior managers snapping up our single-occupancy private offices. These are now booked for the next 12 months ahead.”
In terms of its immediate response to the threat posed by Covid-19, The View’s private offices are equipped with their own heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, while all desks are dedicated to individual users and spaced 2 metres apar,t in line with the Government’s latest guidelines on social distancing. All workspaces have access to open-air spaces and balconies.
And while the building offers training and conference rooms and café, none of these will open until the current restrictions are eased.
Membership at The View starts from €27 per day (excluding VAT) for a workspace and rises to €750 per month for a private, one-person office. Companies looking to find a workspace for their employees can avail of the Government’s small benefits scheme which allows employers to grant benefits in kind of up to €500 tax free. Employers can become members of The View from €33 per day and allocate workspaces to their employees as they see fit.
Membership includes WiFi, heat, electricity, showers, complimentary tea and coffee, bike storage, desk, chair, pedestal, FOB access to shared areas, 24/7 access to private offices, priority booking on meeting/conference rooms, an invitation to all community events and access to the building’s business café.