Words: Shamim de Brún
JP McMahon’s small plates and natural wine bar is set to close next week in the wake of inflation.
JP McMahon is a chef, restaurateur and author. He is the culinary director of the EatGalway Restaurant Group. He also runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School.
Chef JP’s Michelin-starred Aniar and popular tapas restaurant Cava Bodega are unaffected. Tartare is not currently in financial trouble and will pay all its suppliers in full. Its staff have all been given jobs in McMahon’s other restaurants.
The announcement comes in the wake of recent news that celebrity chef Dylan McGrath’s Rustic Stone and Brasserie 66 restaurants in Dublin are restructuring to determine their viability.
JP, his wife, and business partner Drigin Gaffey opened Tartare in Galway five years ago. He said in an interview with The Independent that they had “been thinking about it for a while.”
He added that it was a complicated decision. “We went through every permutation: ‘Will we open just nights? Just days? Just weekends? It’s not just one thing, although I suppose Covid was the catapult for a lot of rethinking. The biggest issue for us at Tartare is that we lost all the kitchen team, bar one. It was hard to get the restaurant back to the standard it had been operating at pre-Covid.”
McMahon said he was proud of what he had achieved at Tartare and had no regrets. “I suppose I’m philosophical. Nothing lasts forever. Everyone will be paid, and none of the staff has lost their jobs, so the people I feel bad for are the regular customers.”
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