Restaurant bucks trend with €400k profits

Entrepreneur Jay Bourke said yesterday that he is very happy with the performance of his restaurant the Market Bar, with figures showing that the business increased pre-tax profits by 28% to €401,018 in 2011.

Mr Bourke co-owns the Dublin restaurant and pub with John Reynolds and Eoin Foyle, and the profits in 2011 follow profits of €295,087 in 2010.

The restaurant — with seating for 300 — featured on RTÉ series Fade Street, and the two years of successive profits follow a pre-tax loss of €409,002 in 2009.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Bourke confirmed the business continued to perform well in 2012. “We are very happy with the business and very proud of it. It is a great business and has always been very well-run. It is doing fine and has always offered good value,” he said.

“It has been a difficult time to be in business with very little credit available. We are all a little battered and bruised, but if you are still in business, you are doing fine.”

Mr Bourke criticised the Government’s failure to deal with upward-only rent reviews. “A lot of businesses have been destroyed because of this silly legislation.”

Last December, Mr Bourke and Mr Reynolds – along with two other publicans — were unsuccessful in opposing €1.4m plans by Dylan McGrath in securing a full public house licence for a 8,000ft sq restaurant close to the Market Bar.

Mr Bourke said Mr McGrath’s new business, Fade St Social, “has improved the area. There are a lot of people coming here. He has done a fantastic job.”

Mr Bourke said the restaurant sector in Dublin “is very competitive. There is fantastic food everywhere on offer”.

According to a note attached to the accounts for Mercroft Taverns Ltd, “the company has a deficit of shareholder funds at year end of €989,161 — down from €1.33m in 2010. The company continues to depend on the support of its bankers, trade creditors and directors.”

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