herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Missing RTE's RAW? Now you can dine there for real ...

Charlene McKenna starred in RAW
Charlene McKenna starred in RAW

IN a case of life imitating art the setting for RTE show RAW is to open its doors as a new Dublin eatery.

Fans of the show will soon be able to head along to The Camden Exchange on Camden Street which is currently undergoing the finishing touches.

Thirty episodes were shot at the location over the show's five-series run but its TV days are now over.

Despite an initial row over licences, a circuit court judge granted owner Stephen Johnson a licence in July.

The publican, who also owns Camden Street drinking spot The Bleeding Horse, agreed that the real-life Raw would be promoted as a cafe bar and restaurant and not a public house.

Under the terms, he also agreed to maintain a full menu service and not pursue a licence for music, singing, or public dancing.

With an average of 591,000 viewers for RAW, there is sure to be a wide pool of punters interested in dining in the famous spot.

The show, which starred actress Charlene McKenna, was axed by the state broadcaster after season five due to budgetary constraints.

Bosses at the time said that the decision to take the kitchen drama off the air was a difficult one.

The building, number 5-7 Camden Street, was not suitable for use as a restaurant while the show was shot there but that has all changed in recent months.

An old-fashioned food van has even been installed at the premises.

TRANSFORM

Extensive renovations were needed to transform the building which is now thought to comprise a ground-floor restaurant with first-floor kitchen facilities.

Originally, it was hoped that renovation work would finish by October last year but it is now expected that the restaurant will open its doors within the next few weeks. Those behind the new venture are reluctant to release too many details about the opening of the venue or the menus just yet.

Inner-city Independent councillor Mannix Flynn and business owners in the area were among those who initially objected to the RAW site being transformed into a real-life restaurant.

A deal for the new venture was struck when it was agreed that The Camden Exchange would only be run as a restaurant and Mr Johnson also gave an undertaking to add this agreement to any contract in the case of the restaurant changing hands.

hnews@herald.ie

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