In a week from now, on Thursday the 13th of August, Cleaver East reopens in Temple Bar. In my opinion, this will be the hardest hit of all my restaurants due to Covid19, simply because of our location in Temple Bar. This area is usually populated by International tourists who as everyone knows just aren’t in Ireland at present and for the foreseeable future.
Cleaver East will begin its new future by offering only one menu priced at €30 for three courses all night every night. We won’t be cutting corners or using less expensive ingredients, we are staying true to our values, serving the best quality ingredients we can get our hands-on and are really excited about sharing our menus and cooking our new dishes for you our loyal customers. In addition to this, each night we are also offering a Bottomless Wine/Prosecco/Cocktail packages, available for the duration of your booking (105mins) and mix and match is allowed.
The #CleaverBrunchClub is back better than ever with a whole new menu, with twisted brunch classics, #pornburgers and creative desserts that will put the previous brunch offering to shame. Of course, the Bellini’s and Mimosas will be flowing, and the in-house DJ will be doing their thing.
This whole situation has brought me back to the very first meeting I had with the owners of the Clarence Hotel, Bono, Edge and Paddy Mc Killian Snr in early 2013, to trash out ideas about relaunching the restaurant. The Tea Rooms restaurant (now Cleaver East) had not been doing well for a good few years and it was time for a change. When we met we all in agreement it needed a rebrand and new concept. Bono was convinced a high-end pizzeria-style restaurant, like Mozza in LA was the way forward, but I had other ideas for various reasons.
Firstly I wasn’t at all happy with the idea of cooking pizza, (I was a proud/stubborn Michelin starred chef at the time), but more importantly, I felt it wouldn’t be enough to bring the restaurant back to life. We needed to be different, we needed to give the people of Ireland a reason to come back into Temple Bar. And, especially onto East Essex Street where the restaurant entrance is situated. Traditionally, East Essex Street was much quieter than the Fleet Street end of Temple Bar, where the majority of the tourists congregate.
Back then, to offer something unique I came up with the Idea for ‘Tasting Plates’, complete fully garnished miniature dishes that cost between €5-€12 each. There was nowhere in Ireland serving these back then, now they are commonplace across the city. This novel offering I felt would do two things; It would give Cleaver East a unique food offering, and also, due to it been priced very keenly it would appeal to the public as we were just coming out of a recession and money was still very tight. The concept worked better than I ever imagined, it was amazing. I was so, so grateful and appreciative of the support we got, it gave us a boost when we really needed it the most. Cleaver East became Dublin’s hottest new restaurant and we were fully booked every night for the first six months ????
Today’s parallels are similar today albeit caused by a completely different situation. Cleaver East is about to reopen as if it was new, and in an area that has very little footfall just like back in 2013. Just like 2013, we need to find a way/reason to get people in the doors again. To do this we have decided to go back in time regarding pricing, to combat the current climate we are all in, and our new future.
This is our new norm, but we are coming back better than ever. Together we will get Dublin rocking again!
Let’s keep fighting,