The chef and restaurateur Gareth (Gaz) Smith is opening his third restaurant, Michael’s Blackrock, in Blackrock Village Centre in south Dublin, where a €12 million refurbishment programme is nearing completion.
The new restaurant, for which a planning application has been lodged for an enclosed outdoor-dining terrace with a retractable roof, will be in the space previously occupied by Clodagh McKenna’s Clodagh’s Kitchen and, more recently, Dunne & Crescenzi. It is expected to open in the spring, with May as the target date.
According to Smith, who runs two restaurants in Mount Merrion, Michael’s and Little Mike’s, the menu is at an early development stage but will follow the seafood-and-steaks model of his other businesses.
Smith has taken a 15-year lease on the premises, which are undergoing a complete refit. “We’ve turned down 30 places over the past year, and this is the one. All of the twists and turns that we did during the lockdowns were to pique the interest of the right landlords, and we’ve done that. We did a very good deal with the landlord. We’ve worked on this for six months,” he says.
The restaurant is at the front of the shopping centre, where SuperValu is the anchor tenant, and is on two levels, with access from the street as well as from the interior of the centre. “The internal entrance will provide us with space to do some food retail, very similar to what we’re doing out in Sutton, ” Smith says, referring to his wine and food-to-go retail space at Higgins Butchers in Sutton.
The restaurant’s open kitchen will be retained in the dining area, and a prep kitchen will be used to prepare lighter meals and snacks for sa