Acclaimed restaurant forced to close

The husband and wife team behind a critically acclaimed restaurant with a Michelin recommendation are being forced to close their doors.

Award-winning chef John Finn and his wife Julie, who manages the front-of-house operations at Dillon’s restaurant in Timoleague, Co Cork, said they had no option but to close the 24-seat waterfront restaurant at the end of the month.

Ms Finn said they regret the decision but said it was due to “circumstances beyond their control”.

And she confirmed last night that the restaurant will close on Sept 29.

“We’re devastated. But what do you do?” she said.

The couple opened the restaurant in May 2009.

“We opened in the recession and knew we weren’t going to become millionaires,” Ms Finn said.

At its peak, the restaurant employed up to eight part-time staff.

John’s French-style cooking has won a string of awards.

These included a Best in Ireland gong from The Bridgestone Guide, and a recommendation from Georgina Campbell’s restaurant guide.

But the highlight came last year when the restaurant secured a prestigious Michelin recommendation.

“It’s been our baby for the last three years.

“We put our lives on hold for this, and built it up from nothing,” Ms Finn said.

“But you don’t work this hard to throw it all away,” she added.

“ We are remaining positive. We will have another restaurant.”

The couple thanked everyone for their custom, support and encouragement over the years, and said that all valid unclaimed vouchers would be honoured.

The restaurant serves dinner Wednesdays to Sundays, and serves morning coffee and lunch from Thursdays to Sundays.

* www.dillons.ie

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