By Emily Mullen
“We had everything ready. When the guards came and said we had to close”
La Peniche were ordered to close on their first day of trading. The floating restaurant had reopened after several months with a pizza takeaway, in its usual spot along Grand Canal, beside Mespil Road.
On March 27 representatives from La Peniche took to Twitter to complain that while they were forced to close by Gardai “due to planning”, while other food stalls were allowed to operate. “We are on the canal years. But the same day these were outside of our door trading? The only difference is we are on water?” they wrote.
The disappointment felt by the team at La Peniche was palpable as they tweeted about their stocks being filled with food ahead of their launch. “Our fridges is full from all the food we bought last week for opening we didn’t sell one coffee and we were asked to close,”
“It’s important we get to open and offer takeaway to try keep our business going.We are no different to any other restaurant offering takeaway only difference we are on water. We disposed of some of the fresh foods we bought last week and felt so guilty,”
“We pay our rates we pay our taxes we have staff employed who depend on us. We just want to get on with our working life,” the team at La Peniche wrote.
CEO of The Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins assured that they have written to Waterways Ireland on this issue, citing an exemption on planning for takeaway businesses during COVID last May by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage. “Hopefully common sense will prevail,” he added.
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