The co-owner of one of Dublin's most iconic restaurants has told of his frustration at having to close again, while meeting crowds of drunken teenagers mingling freely on the streets.
However, the well-known maitre d' of Trocadero, Robert Doggett, said the restaurant trade had survived other economic disasters and would "rise again".Annoyed
The 63-year-old eatery prides itself on being Dublin's theatre restaurant and regularly attracts stars of the stage and screen.
Speaking after the closure of indoor restaurants as Dublin was placed on Level 3 due to a rise in Covid-19 cases, Robert said he was "very frustrated, very annoyed and very upset".
"When we were originally closed, myself and my staff spent so much time walking around the restaurant, taking out tables, shortening menu options, putting in hand sanitising stations - everything we could do to be totally Covid-19 compliant and do everything right," he said.
"We reopened on July 8 to a fanfare and joyous business in the first week.
"But by the fourth week business went through the floor and people were staycationing around the country.
"We took it on the chin, knowing people would come back when schools reopened, and they did.
"In the last week before this lockdown we had our best week in the 13 weeks since we reopened.
"This thing, Covid-19, is bigger than any of us and it has to be stopped and we can't play the blame game as we all have to work together.
"What does anger and frustrate me, though, is the fact that I was walking home from Trocadero last Saturday at about 8pm and I counted 52 kids coming out of a local wood near Milltown.Brunt
"They were all about 14 years of age and had been drinking and partying, with not one mask between them.
"It really annoys me that this is ongoing and yet the hospitality trade has to bear the brunt of the rising number of cases.
"Restaurants have been through tough times before, but we will rise up again and soldier on to try and protect as many jobs in the industry as we can."