The Dublin restaurant scene is changing in front of our eyes. Gone is the creativity and plucky entrepreneurs that the recession brought, benefiting from lower rents.
In their place have come the million Euro refits, the international chains, the copy-and-paste menus and a general blandness. As well as the developers being back, we’ve also regressed to €30 main courses and restaurants that are designed on spreadsheets, rather than in the brains of creative Dubliners.
Just when I thought every last ounce of ingenuity had been stripped from the capital, along comes Suzanne Taylor with her pop-up pizza offering in her own back garden.
It’s about as far off the beaten track as you can go. Pembroke Lane is filled with offices and would have zero footfall in the evenings.
In a small archway, Suzanne has “pretty much upcycled everything” from the tables through to lights and chairs. Her friends have been drafted in to help with branding, acting as waiting staff and cleaning tables.
Despite the low budgets, I might as well have been walking into a hip New York or Berlin style pizza joint. I was the only person there, but you could imagine a serious buzz as chatter fills the alleyway fuelled by the BYOB (€5 for a bottle of wine).
However, Suzanne didn’t just wake up one day and decide to make pizza in her garden. She trained at Ballymaloe and has recently been working in both Bibis and, most promisingly, the Dublin Pizza Company. She’s also worked in events in New York and London, so clearly knows what she’s at.
There are five pizzas on the menu and they’re all absolutely stunning. The fact that they cost between €10-15 and you can bring your own wine makes this a seriously cheap night out.
“Most people will stop in Toner’s, which is on the corner, and I’ll be able to gently ask them to leave and go back there at 11, as it is my home after all”.
The menu is so tight that the only thing besides pizza is a green salad and a brownie. Sure what more would you want?
As Suzanne fussed over the pizzas, she was fretting if it would be a success or not. Maybe one day she’d “be able to talk to a bank for a loan and get a permanent home”. I for one hope it never comes to that, because this little quirky pop-up is everything I loved about Dublin over the last few years. We’re headed somewhere completely different now as a city and I’m not sure I love it.
The only way you can book is via email at email@example.com. You’ll love Rogue Pizza and I’ve a feeling it’ll be rammed every single Thursday, Friday and Saturday it’s open.