Park Café In Ballsbridge Is Closing Citing 'Very Challenging Time'

By Robert McHugh
Park Café In Ballsbridge Is Closing Citing 'Very Challenging Time'

Richard Corrigan’s Park Café in Ballsbridge has announced it will be closing after just a year in business.

Park Café opened to much excitement last November in the former Shelbourne Social premises on Shelbourne Road.

Virginia Park Lodge

The Park Café’s concept referenced Richard Corrigan’s country estate in County Cavan – Virginia Park Lodge. Produce for the Park – everything from Savoy cabbages, pumpkins and blackcurrants to pork from Corrigan’s Oxford Sandy and Black pigs – would travel just 60 minutes down the road to the Park Café and be delivered daily.

The ground-floor seafood counter included Sally Barnes’ smoked fish and natural, dressed oysters from Flaggy Shore and Réalt na Mara.

Bentley’s Fish Pie

Other specialities, such as local snails from Cavan’s Inis Escargot, were also on offer throughout the restaurant.


However, the main feature was Corrigan’s famous Bentley’s fish pie – featuring smoked haddock, prawns, and Clare Island salmon.

'Restaurants Are In My Blood'

Speaking to Hospitality Ireland at the time of the opening, Richard Corrigan said, "Restaurants are in my blood, and the thrill of opening one in Dublin just means so much."

He added, "It’s worth the stress! We’ve had some really positive reviews in The Irish Times and Irish Independent from two critics who really know their bacon, so that’s been a huge pat on the back for the team."


However, the restaurant issued an email on Friday telling customers of the restaurant's planned closure.

'In what has been a very challenging time for the hospitality industry, it unfortunately no longer makes commercial sense for for us to remain open,' the email said.


'As this chapter closes, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your support and welcoming us so warmly into the Ballsbridge community.'

VAT Rate

The news comes in the same month that the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) warned that the government is failing the hospitality industry.

Paul Lenehan, president of RAI, particularly focused on the Government's decision to revert the VAT rate for the sector to 13.5%.

“The RAI and myself will continue to highlight each and every closure caused by the decision to hike the hospitality VAT rate to make sure the government knows the name of the restaurants, cafés and gastropubs their decisions have ruined,” said Lenehan.

Inflationary Times

Corrigan’s Ballsbridge operation which has been run by manager Paul Ryan will continue to operate until the end of the year.

A sign that even a well run operation based in an affluent part of Dublin can still struggle in these inflationary times.