It's a café many food writers would usually avoid covering for fear of being torn to shreds by its proprietor, but the closure of a business that's become infamous within Dublin's hospitality scene can't be ignored.
Whether it's through a friend, a family member or a Tinder date gone awry, everyone has a story about the White Moose Café. Maybe your best mate was turned away after he asked for vegan options. Maybe that girl you went to primary school with got permanently barred because she's now an influencer and they're famously not welcome. Maybe your auntie was publicly shamed after making the mistake of asking to speak to the manager - but all that will be coming to an end as owner of the White Moose Paul Stenson has announced the closure of the Phibsboro café.
In a post shared on LinkedIn, Paul wrote:
"It is with both sadness and delight that I announce that our family business Charleville Lodge Dublin has been sold.
My parents bought the business in 1994 and I joined in 2003, 20 years ago. My folks are now getting to the point in their lives that they would like to retire and I have no interest in being in Dublin anymore. Several months ago, we were made an offer we couldn’t refuse, and so, on 31st Jan 2023, Charleville Lodge will be changing hands.
We wish the new owners every success in what they do. We made it very clear that all staff be retained so we are pleased to say that all of the team, some of whom have been with us for over 20 years (Chris, Irina), will be kept on by the new owners".
He goes on to reveal that the new owners are not looking to keep a café on the premises, so the White Moose is on the hunt for a new HQ.
"However", he continues, "I am now at the point in my life where I think my days working in food are over. I was never really cut out for working in hospitality. My strengths are in entertainment/writing/acting the clown. As such, I am willing to sell the White Moose brand to anyone mad enough to carry it on. I will only sell it to someone who will be able to continue the White Moose story well into the future and keep our customers smiling".
Paul also took the opportunity to thank his loyal staff, customers and former business partner - even the vegans, the gluten intolerant and the review writers got a shout out. "The bloggers can still piss off", he maintained.
While the café owner said he wasn't sure what would be next for himself or the White Moose if someone does end up buying it, he closed with a reassuring promise:
"What happens next is still uncertain, but one thing’s for sure, my antics will continue in whatever I do. Charleville Lodge/White Moose Cafe may be gone, but Paul Stenson isn’t going anywhere".
Header image via Linkedin/Paul Stenson