'What is to become of our city?' Local business owner laments the demise of Dublin

By Fiona Frawley

September 20, 2022 at 4:34pm


"Who is in charge of this fiasco?"

Here at Lovin, observing and reporting on the happenings within Dublin's hospitality and small business scene is what we do. Sadly, in this line of work we've seen countless businesses forces to close their doors over the past couple of years. Of course, the pandemic was a factor. But rising rents and relentless corporate greed have an equally damaging part to play. Restaurants, bars and vital cultural hubs have been bought out or demolished to make way for even more hotels, businesses have been forced to close due to crippling rent and bill costs - it's a daily occurrence at this stage.

Ruth Ní Loinsigh, owner of Dublin boutique Om Diva has weighed in on the conversation, lamenting the closure of businesses around her and expressing her worry for the future of the city.

The business owner wrote:


There is no fancy language, there is no corporate speak, there are no over-used social media sound bites that can be used to express the worry and stress that all small business owners are experiencing right now in Ireland. 

Speaking of the rental crisis and how businesses were affected, Ruth said:

Huge rent reviews for small commercial properties despite delicate day to day recovery from the pandemic, @dcc getting ready to implement charges of up to €20,000 for a few square feet of space for tables outside small coffee shops. 

All of the shop units on neighbouring Clarendon Street are lying empty because the small, independent businesses that occupied them can no longer afford the rent. Perhaps they are planning to knock the entire block down as they have done elsewhere in the city? Who remembers Steps of Rome? 

Steps of Rome was a small Italian restaurant first on Chatham Street, then in Windy Arbour, which closed in 2019 after 25 years of trading.


Other local businesses have commented in support of Ruth's message, which closed with "who is in charge of this fiasco?"

Asian restaurant Ukiyo replied "so true, every word", while Wilde Vintage Dublin said "we now know who not to vote for".

Header image via Shutterstock 

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