Asian food outlet thriving at pivotal city location

It’s fast food in more ways than one — Cork Asian street food company Ramen has opened its second Cork outlet at Dennehy’s Cross, doing a key restaurant unit deal with UK-based Comer brothers.

The Comers, originally from Galway, bought the Orchard Court/Frinailla development from Ulster Bank for €16 million, as part of the larger €75m Gemini Portfolio bank sale.

Just opened in the development’s prime corner unit at Dennehy’s Cross, is Ramen’s second Cork restaurant which comes just seven months after the food company first set up at Anglesea Street, where it hit the ground running. The new restaurant will bring employment within the next few weeks to 100, and Ramen’s owners Dave Dwyer and John Downey are understood to be negotiating on two further sites.

Ramen’s second restaurant is pivotal and high-profile, in a just fitted out 3,058 sq ft unit with basement at Dennehy’s Cross in the city’s western suburbs, near UCC, CIT, CUH and the Wilton Shopping Centre. Apart from a take-out and delivery services, it seats 60, and will have a further 100 seats at basement level which is due to be fitted out in time for the return of CIT and UCC students to the area. Critically, the restaurant’s customers have access to free basement car-parking.

Turnover at Dennehys Cross is already matching that of Anglesea Street, which opened in December, said Ballymaloe-trained John Downey, with up to 12 chef wok stations for producing freshly prepared food and with a new menu (with Indian options) just being trialled as well, with chefs from places as diverse as Nepal and Malaysia.

The ending this week of Ramadan brought a true multi-cultural mix of customers to Ramen, adds Dave Dwyer, who in the 1980s built up a fast-food business called Hot Stuff, with up to ten outlets, before going into property development. Rental terms on the Orchard Court unit, next to a Tesco Express, haven’t been divulged and the deal included a rent-free period. Deals on other adjacent units are progressing, and all 150 apartments overhead in two blocks are fully let.

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