Developer Harry Crosbie is set to open a new restaurant next to Dublin's Grand Canal Theatre which will be run by well-known chef Johnny Cooke.
Rita Crosbie, Harry's wife, will manage the new restaurant, Cafe Bar H, which will open fully by the end of the month. She indicated that prices would be in the mid-range and said she had no worries about opening a restaurant in the recession.
"Diners can expect mid-market prices and good-quality food, cooked by my food hero Johnny Cooke, who has been my friend for many years. Harry will be doing the washing-up."
The opening will mark a return to the capital's food scene for Cooke, who closed his own restaurant, Cooke's Cafe, in 2008.
He denied that that venture's closure was solely due to the effects of the recession though acknowledged that many restaurants were suffering from the financial downturn.
Speaking about the closure at the time, Cooke said: "I opened here 16 years ago. The restaurant business goes through cycles and things go quiet every five to seven years, so I've been through quiet periods before and it is no more than a coincidence that it happened at this time.
"Functional eating where people want to get in and out and have a meal, and maybe one or two beers, for €20, are what people are going towards now."
His restaurant attracted celebrity clients and rave reviews after it first opened in 1992, picking Cooke up a string of awards.
Cooke began his career at the Grey Door restaurant in Dublin before working in various restaurants in America. The chef returned to Dublin in 1990 to launch the Polo One restaurant, before eventually launching Cooke's Café.
Crosbie's new restaurant is the latest project to be undertaken by the developer who has overseen the creation of the Point Village, incorporating the O2, the new Gibson Hotel, the Point Village market, "The Revolver", Dublin's version of the London Eye, and an underground bar called Harry's Bar.
Crosbie has also overseen the development of the Grand Canal Theatre, and it is hoped concert goers will help bolster bookings in the new restaurant.