Coppinger Row may be closing its doors on New Year’s Eve, but restaurateur Marc Bereen is doing all in his power to ensure that the closure is just a temporary one.
When word filtered through that Coppinger Row, the iconic city centre restaurant owned by Marc Bereen and his brother Conor, was set to close on New Year’s Eve, the initial reaction was one of shock. As Dublin’s diners digested the news on social media, the mood swiftly changed to an outpouring of love and nostalgia, as regulars shared tales of legendary times enjoyed there over the years, with evenings frequently culminating in spontaneous dancing on the tables at closing time.
Joyous, happy days, but as the deadline to vacate the premises looms, it seems that the permanent closure of Coppinger Row is far from a done deal. As Marc Bereen prepares to shut up shop on December 31st, he is determined to ensure that he will be the one turning the key on the newly refurbished premises, following the completion of works by the landlord there next year.
The convivial restaurateur remains hopeful that Coppinger Row could reopen in the redeveloped premises with the agreement of the landlord, adding that he has always been on good terms with the building’s owners. “I’m really hoping to be the one they pick as the leaseholder next year, particularly if they prioritize what this individual can bring to the space, over other potential factors, such as the size of the company. It’s just very sad that having had such a great relationship, it gets to a stage where they feel they have to put the lease on the market.”
In a statement to the Irish Times, the building’s owner Aviva, said that in seeking new tenants for the building, they wanted to “bring more life into the area”, an elusive art that Marc and his brother Conor have proven themselves masters of over the past thirteen years. When they initially opened Coppinger Row during the global recession, the Bereens found themselves in the vanguard of the South William Street renaissance. With the help of a fun, dynamic team and their wonderfully loyal customers, they quickly succeeded in building a new vibe in the quiet side street, infusing the city’s former rag trade quarter with renewed and spirited joie de vivre. As the architect of good times for so many over the years, Marc himself observes, “Who better than the people who know the area inside out to revitalize the place again, as we have done previously?”
Marc tells us that the team at Coppinger Row is currently compiling a scrapbook of memories of those halcyon days and nights at the buzzy city centre restaurant, when their beloved regulars rubbed shoulders with some of the city’s most stellar visitors. These included such luminaries as George Clooney and music queen Beyoncé, who on leaving the venue quickly proclaimed Coppinger Row her favourite Dublin restaurant.
At Totally Dublin too, we fondly recollect epic evenings lounging over generous plates bursting with Mediterranean flavours, washed down with incredible Lebanese wines. Alas, the photographic evidence of those cherished soirees at Coppinger Row have been long since lost in the mists of time, along with the legacy phones that housed them.
Those more careful of their belongings will have an opportunity to share their favourite photo memories of Coppinger Row on Instagram over the next few weeks, using the hashtags #AuRevoir #CoppingerRow. Each week, the best picture, whether retro, current, or both together, will win lunch for two at sister restaurant Charlotte Quay.
In the meantime, Marc continues to focus on Charlotte Quay and an intimate new neighbourhood project currently under development in a South Dublin suburb. As he contemplates closing the doors of his much-loved city centre restaurant at the end of December, he is hopeful that this is only the end of the beginning there.
It is clear that Marc Bereen’s heart is firmly set on plans to return as the leaseholder of No. 1 Coppinger Row. He is not alone in looking forward to seeing Coppinger Row slot back into the eponymous space it made its own there over the past thirteen years.
For now, it’s au revoir not goodbye.
Tues – Wed 5pm – 10pm; Thurs – Sun 12pm – 10pm. Closed Dec 25th – 27th
Book via: coppingerrow.com