RACHEL’S restaurant on Washington Street is set for a €1m major revamp over the next few months, less than two years after opening.
Staff were informed of the plans at a briefing yesterday and management told the Evening Echo there will be no job losses as a result of the changes.
The premises, which also operates as a bar, is to undergo a major refurbishment programme that is expected to take approximately 10 weeks to complete.
The restaurant was opened in March 2017, as a joint business venture between TV chef and writer Rachel Allen, well-known Cork publican Paul Montgomery and Rachel’s husband Isaac Allen.
New investors have now become involved in the business, something Ms Allen welcomed last night.
“We are really delighted that the venue is to benefit from such an investment and are excited to be getting started with the refurbishment work which we believe will deliver a whole new experience for our customers,” she said.
The work is due to begin on August 8, with an early October opening date pencilled in for the new venture.
While the main restaurant area of Rachel’s will be closed to facilitate the work, the back garden bar at the venue will remain open throughout.
Both food and drink will be available in the bar and the recently-opened terrace will also stay open.
Mr Montgomery said business had been brisk, particularly at weekends, and they were very successful in the corporate hospitality market.
However, there were concerns that customers saw it as a high-end rather than casual dining option and they were missing out on business as a result.
“There was that impression that it was expensive and occasion-driven,” he said. “We’ve talked about it a lot over the last year and we’ve decided that we want to provide a more casual dining experience.
“We are going to reconfigure the place. We are going for the authenticity of an old-world Cork pub.
“We’ll have a pre-Victorian look about the place.”