What’s happening in Dublin’s bars & restaurants, The Irish Times, 7 Jul 18

Vanessa did a wee interview with Catherine Cleary from The Irish Times about our efforts to find a sister for Lola.

For the full article, click here... for a view from Vanessa... see below..

"“Key money has gone through the roof,” Vanessa Murphy says. Along with her partner Anna Cadrera, she owns Tapas de Lola on Dublin’s WexfordStreet.

For the past two years they’ve been looking at opening a second restaurant within walking distance. “We put offers in on about four places and had to walk away. There are bigger players with deeper pockets. We’re a Mamma’s and Mamma’s business. It’s been heartbreaking,” Murphy says. The nearest they got was when they offered €150,000 key money for a small premises that needed work. They believe it went for key money of between €350,000 and €400,000.

“You’ll never see that money come back. That’s a hell of a lot of tapas we’d have to sell.” 

After key money, building contractors are hard to find and their costs are soaring. “I know one restaurant where the contract works have doubled,” Murphy says. “It’s breaking every body’s hearts.” 

Tiger 2.0 comes with another sting in the tail for staff in restaurants, many of whom are on minimum wage. “We’ve found it’s increasingly difficult for our staff to find somewhere to live,” Murphy says. “Many of them live in hostels for six months to a year. Tenants have got smart and have started to Airbnb their spare rooms. It means the rooms that would have been available to rent are few and far between. One team member was paying €600 a month for a bed in a kitchen. We knew he’d be gone home in no time.”"