Richard Corrigan’s Ballsbridge restaurant The Park Café to close

Michelin-starred chef opened restaurant just one year ago but it quickly ran into difficulty after a number of staff departures

Michelin-starred Irish chef Richard Corrigan is to close his Dublin restaurant The Park Café at the end of this year citing commercial difficulties.

The Ballsbridge restaurant opened to rave reviews just one year ago, but quickly ran into difficulties after a number of staff left within weeks of opening.

In January of this year 14 former employees spoke to The Irish Times alleging an unfair distribution of the service charge and an unacceptable working environment, including verbal abuse.

In a statement in response to queries at the time the company said it did not “condone any form of bullying across sites in London or Dublin” and that many of the allegations were “simply untrue”. It added that the restaurant was a “high octane” environment and a number of staff had left “simply as they were not suited to the work and style of the restaurant”.

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In an email sent to regular customers at the weekend the restaurant said it wanted to share the “regretful news” that it was going to close come the new year.

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

It said its focus was now to “do right by our team and suppliers” until the last service at the end of this year.

“Until then, we’ll be showing all of our guests the true spirit of what we set out to achieve when we launched The Park Café – serving up brilliant Irish produce alongside warm hospitality.”

The Park Café is the fifth establishment in Mr Corrigan’s hospitality group. The Corrigan Collection includes a number of successful London restaurants including Corrigan’s of Mayfair, Bentley’s and Daffodil Mulligan, as well as the Virginia Park Lodge in Co Cavan.

While money appeared to be the main issue prompting staff departures from the Ballsbridge restaurant within six weeks of opening, some were also highly critical of the workplace atmosphere in The Park Café.

The Park Café remains open from Tuesday to Saturday and continues to take bookings up to the end of December. Representatives of the company could not be contacted on Sunday.

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