Dispute over lease sees storehouse of Ranelagh cafe removed

Landlord says Nick’s Coffee owner is being ‘economical with the truth’ around tenancy

A south Dublin coffee shop owner says he wants to negotiate the continuation of his tenacy with his landlord after his storeroom was dismantled by builders in the early hours of Monday morning.

Nicholas Seymour, the owner of Nick's Coffee, posted an image on Twitter on Monday of builders removing the wooden storeroom of the small kiosk just off the Ranelagh Road in Dublin.

The cafe is still open and operating.

In the tweet, Mr Seymour wrote: “After being told by our solicitor that they can’t just demolish our shop and stores without court order… they do.”


Mr Seymour said he was contacted by Phonewatch at 5.30am on Monday and told they had seen people “breaking into my storeroom” on CCTV.

He went to Ranelagh and found a group of builders knocking down the storage area beside the kiosk, he told The Irish Times.

Gardaí were called to the scene and said it was a civil matter, he added.

Mr Seymour said he had never missed a rent payment but that the landlord refused to negotiate a new lease for the cafe.

Mr Seymour has operated a cafe at the site for 12- years. He said that five years ago the building ago was bought out of Nama by the current owner.

He said the landlord had contacted him during the first week of lockdown to inform him of plans to dismantle the storeroom.

“They destroyed our toilet before this and we had two parking spaces taken away. Now I’ll have to employ an extra person to load up the shop as we have no storage on site,” he claimed.

“We’re in there seven days a week, 14 hours a day and only close on Christmas day. We’ve been weathering this story for about five years and if I didn’t have so many employees to pay and children to feed, I’d walk away. It’s going to be a massive pain not having supplies, I’ve had enough.”

Ronan Barrett, owner of the Tullington Limited company which is the landlord of the property, said he did not usually comment on individual tenant disputes.

“However, as it appears that Mr Seymour’s preference is to distort the truth and to instead attack the landlord and our agents via social media, I will say that Mr Seymour is being very economical with the truth,” Mr Barrett said in a statement to The Irish Times.

Mr Barrett said that “without constructive engagement, we have been left with no option but to refer matters to our solicitors.”

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast