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‘It’s heartbreaking’: Restaurant and café owners respond to Level 3 restrictions

by Edaein OConnell
19th Sep 2020

Restaurant and café owners have responded online to the devastating news that indoor dining is to cease under Level 3 restrictions

Yesterday the government announced that Dublin would move into Level 3 of restriction measures.

The rules include that no travel is permitted in or out of the county unless for essential reasons. Only 25 people are allowed at weddings or funerals and a max of six visitors from one household are allowed to visit private homes.

Furthermore, Dublin restaurants and cafés will have to shut their doors to indoor diners with only outdoor dining and takeaway permitted. This rule has caused distress and upset to businesses that were already struggling following lockdown closures in March.

Many took to Twitter to voice their concerns and frustrations.

Gaz Smith of Michael’s Restaurant in Mount Merrion wrote: “We have acted in very good faith adapting quickly and willingly to every rule & regulation thrown at us, a couple of days will allow us to avoid so much waste This has been thrust upon us with zero warning and I think we at least deserve a small bit of notice.”


Eamonn O’ Reilly, the owner of The Greenhouse restaurant,  spoke of the amount of work put into reopening his restaurant saying, “If it’s true @michealmartin @leovaradker you’re closing Dublin restaurants today it will be a disaster for so many of us & our suppliers. I’ve spent over €65k reopening, took back all 40 staff with no wage cuts, huge effort to keep guests safe & now this catastrophe.. Gutted!”


Paul Cadden, MD of Saba Restaurant Group, last night shared the company was forced to lay off 26 members of the team in light of the announcement.


With indoor dining no longer an option, there was a wave of support for shopping local in light of the news. It has never been more important to back these businesses with a difficult three weeks looming.

Shanes Beatty, Presenter of Breakfast Briefing on Newstalk, wrote: “Just as people in Kildare tried their best to #SupportLocal during the county restrictions, please support Dublin businesses as much you can.”


Andrea Horan, owner of Tropical Popical, shared a similar sentiment saying, “From convos I’ve had, some businesses simply won’t make it through another lockdown. Think about where you can spend your money over the next few day, weeks, months. Does Jeff Bezos need to add to his 184.9 billion? But simply buying an extra coffee from your local makes a diff”

In light of the announcement, Dublin City Council released a statement saying  it would accept applications from businesses who wish to utilise “the public footpath, designated car parking spaces, and other areas of the public domain under the control of the City Council.”

This means businesses that are successful can use the extra space for outdoor dining.


Read more: Living with Covid: Can I travel to and from Dublin?

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