2021 was a year unlike any other in living memory, for the hospitality industry it was a year of lockdowns, closures, and lite reopenings.
Some of the city's best-beloved businesses put up the "closed" sign for the final time and shut their doors for good. Here's a list of some of the businesses that didn't make it to 2022 for a variety of different reasons:
10. Hemingways Food Co
After 25 years of trading, Hemingways Food Co on a corner of Ballsbridge closed its doors on July 23 2021. The spot had been a favourite with locals and suits alike, selling coffees, cakes, and sambos. In a statement, a representative from Hemingways wrote that they would be moving "on to new ventures" adding that "all good things come to an end."
9. Dun Leary's Last Corner Shop
In September 2021, Dun Leary's Last Corner Shop truly became the last corner shop and closed its doors after 35 years. The shop which advertised some of its products as being "Cheaper than Tesco", was run by John Hyland who described his customers as "the best, we have a huge variety of customers of all types, young and old... I see them coming in, five and six to 90. I found that when you do something for a customer, when you get them something, they are so appreciative." Hyland was shutting the shop to commence his retirement and had plans to get on his bike and cycle the Barrow Way.
End of an era! Closing down tomorrow after 35 years pic.twitter.com/rHHOz1zhCl
— Dr Emily MarkFitzGerald (@emilymfg) September 26, 2021
After opening the space in 7 Smithfield Square on April 4 2021, the sandwich spot closed its doors the same year. Cuan was run by married pair Barbara and JP Whearty and was modeled around the couple's successful spot in Belfast, which had a cult following there. The sudden closure came on July 26, 2021, with the team claiming that the "landlord decided to tell us that he wouldn’t be proceeding with our long term lease by locking us out of the unit, withholding all of our belongings, equipment, furniture & stock" according to an Instagram post.
The brainchild of wine and cheese legends Loose Canon, Benedicts egg shop hit the ground running when they opened in June 2021. Set in George's Street Arcade the shop sold egg baps, filled with a herby, buttery scramble, topped with a couple of fillings. Benedicts which was described as a "wee project" by the team, closed its doors on October 31st. The team wrote on Instagram that "we might return in the future but for now we’re wrapping up! Slinging our hooks and moving on with some other exciting projects." The team has indeed been true to their word and has recently launched Table Wine, an intimate restaurant that sits alongside The Morning.
6. All Hail
After just a couple of months of trading All Hail, stopped selling their boxes filled with jerk chicken, rainbow rice, and corn on the cob. Operating out of the reworked Pablo Picante on Dawson Street, All Hail had been a popup but we kind of hoped it would stick around. Representatives confirmed that All Hail would be converted back into Pablo Picantes, and the popup finished up at the end of August.
5. The Library Bar
The bar in the upstairs of the Central Hotel on Exchequer Street had to have been one of the city center's best-hidden gems. Squishy sofas and a couple of roaring fires, the quiet spot was beloved of book clubs, tête-à-têtes, and solo pints alike. According to Hot Press planning permission for partial demolition and extension to the Central Hotel had been lodged during the Summer, during the pandemic the space had been repurposed as a Direct Provision Centre.
4. La Bodega
The team behind La Bodega announced that they would be closing the doors of their tapas restaurant on December 18. The Instagram post transpired to not be a goodbye but a see you soon, as the team behind La Bodega announced that they would be opening a new venture called Babette in late January. "Not straying from the real reason we do this, to bring people together over great food, occasional drinks, and great atmosphere, Babette will be our second chapter in Ranelagh, our way of continuing our life here but in a different shell," the team wrote on Instagram.
3. Coppinger Row
One of the city's best-loved restaurants announced that they would be closing on December 31. The owner of 1 Coppinger Row will be reportedly be developing the building and putting the lease on the open market. Coppinger Row has traded on the site for over 13 years.
2. The Exchequer
Located on 3-5 Exchequer Street, The Exchequer announced the news on December 20 that they w0uld be closing the doors on New Year's Eve. Owner Peter Rock confirmed the news over Instagram writing "last call at the Exchequer Gastropub Dublin 2". The gastropub had been a staple of the Dublin-food scene for almost 13 years, winning a vast array of awards in the process.
1. Gerry's on Montague Street
For almost 40 years Gerry's was the go-to spot for fry ups in the city center. The spot on Montague Street was not just a greasy spoon but a hub for the community. Announcing the news via Facebook on July 20 Gerry the proprietor of Gerry's would be entering retirement. Gerry's gave thanks to some of their most loyal customers, some of whom even had a place at their family table on Christmas day.
Lead image via allhailthebox/IG