January 15, 2013 at 9:01 am #4999
Most of you will have heard at this stage that Alexis has closed down. It’s been the toughest decision that we’ve ever had to make but a lot of the time in business, the right decision is the most difficult.
As is usually the case in these situations, there were lots of factors which lead to our demise, most of which were economic. I never like to hear owners of failed businesses, especially restaurants, blaming everyone but themselves for their fate. We faced the same tough trading conditions as most but ultimately were not able to survive.
The issues which made it difficult for us are those which face many businesses in Ireland…falling revenues, rising costs, unrealistic landlords, banks not lending to SMEs etc. etc.
However, there is one issue which is specific to Dun Laoghaire and has played a huge part in the failure of 64 small businesses in the town in the past 12 months. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council outsourced their parking services to a UK company a few years ago. Itis such a large revenue generator for them now that Dun Laoghaire has some of the highest street parking charges in Ireland and THE most agressive ticketing for profit that you will find anywhere. My customers never stopped complaining about it and many stopped coming for lunch because of it.
The choice facing customers at Christmas was to go to Dun Laoghaire and and suffer high costs, a likely parking ticket and the choice of mainly vacant units and pound shops for their Christmas shopping or go 15minutes up the road to Stillorgan and park for free all day with access to decent shops. You can guess which option most chose.
All of the small businesses which have closed in Dun Laoghaire over the last 12 months would have paid rates. So in effect, DLRCC are killing the geese that lay their golden eggs…but I suppose the lost rates are a drop in the ocean compared to the €4m profit it makes annually from it’s parking business.
So that’s all folks…thank you all so much for the great advice, debate & craic over the last 6 years. I’ve met some great people and made plenty of good friends along the way. Thanks especially to Ernie for the forum and the support.
January 15, 2013 at 11:58 am #24313
I don’t know how many times I’ve eaten in Alexis, but it’s a large number. I’ve enjoyed each and every morsel sent out by the kitchen, and I’ll miss the warmth and professionalism of the FOH, not to mention the banter. It’s a shame for Dun Laoghaire, and it’s a shame for Dublin.
I can’t help but think back to that fateful evening when you “caught” us peering in the window of the as then unopened restaurant…
January 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm #24314
what can I say? – a very sad day indeed.
Thank you! and good luck. 🙁
January 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm #24315
so very sad indeed. think over the years I had dined with you about 9 or 10 times. each time was better then the previous. you had the best quality / value lunch in Dublin imo.
the tweet-up meal last year with matching wines was one of my highlights of 2012.
I hope you come back Pat bigger and stonger in the near future. You had a huge amout of support on the twitter machine last night.
January 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm #24316
Jeez Pat, you were the poster boy for how to do it right! This is absolutely shocking.
On the plus side – not running a restaurant will probably lengthen your lifespan by about 20 years!
Enjoy whatever you do next.
January 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm #24317
Sorry to see this, Pat. Hopefully this hasn’t taken too much out of you and you can relaunch in the near future. I think you have a good read on what many people want from a restaurant, and can build another successful business with sufficient adjustments to the model to make it bombproof next time, if you decide to go that direction again.
January 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm #24309
So sorry to hear your news Pat. And even sorrier that I never got back to Alexis a second time.
Wishing you the very best of luck in whatever you decide to do next.
January 16, 2013 at 8:11 am #24310
Thanks for the support guys, it’s very much appreciated.
I’ve no plans to get into the restaurant business again and will go back to day job as a bean counter! I really fear for what 2013 has in store for retailers in general and restaurants in particular. With property tax, water charges and another €3.1bn coming out of the economy in the budget, it doesn’t bode well.
I take my hat off to any small business, expecially resaurants, who can survive this recession and if I ever get to eat out again I will make a point of always supporting my local cafe/pub/restaurant…chances are they are hurting and could do with the support.
January 16, 2013 at 6:27 pm #24311
Very sad news Pat, I wish you and all of your team the very best in the future and congratulations for what you achieved ! I will remember a couple of visits very fondly – especially being there for the first night of your relaunch with the “new room”, but also the amazed comments by some guests from London when we enjoyed the midweek tasting menu – they were blown away by the quality but more so by the value ! Best of luck !
January 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm #24312
So very sorry to hear this Patrick. As a fellow Dun Laoghaire businessperson I can concur with the parking issues being an ongoing problem (and have also heard many business owners rail against the local rates, which also seem excessive). I enjoyed playing my own small part in the Alexis story and can only regret that recent financial straits meant curtailing my own visits to one of my favourite places to eat. I’m sure I’m far from the only one. It is chilling that such a well-thought-out mix of quality and value couldn’t make it through these lean times. Best of luck to all in your future endeavours.
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