Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Dublin Fire Brigade
In a devastating turn of events, Michelin-starred restaurant Variety Jones has been left seriously damaged following a fire that engulfed the premises on Thursday.
The incident, which occurred at approximately 19:00, prompted the response of four fire engines and a turntable ladder from the Dolphins Barn and Tara Street fire stations.
Situated at 79 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Variety Jones had only recently relocated from its former location next door at 78 Thomas Street on June 28. Keelan Higgs, the owner of the renowned establishment, expressed his concern over the extensive damage caused by the fire.
“I’m currently away at an event in London, so I’m relying on second-hand information,” Higgs stated in an interview with The Irish Times. “Thankfully, everyone was safely evacuated, and no one was harmed. That’s the most important thing. I’m uncertain about the extent of the damage at the moment. Although the fire was extinguished promptly, it appears that significant damage has occurred. I’ll need to assess the situation tomorrow and determine our next steps.”
Higgs announced that the restaurant would remain closed on Friday due to the distress experienced by the staff. However, there is a possibility of reopening at the former premises, Number 78, on Saturday.
“Our staff are understandably shaken by the incident, so we’ll be closed tomorrow,” Higgs explained. “We’ll make a decision about reopening at our previous location next door for Saturday. I will consult with the staff to ensure they are comfortable with this arrangement. If not, we will remain closed for the rest of the week. Our initial plan was to close for the holidays after this week anyway, so it’s unfortunate that this incident occurred in our new spot. I will assess the situation tomorrow and determine the best course of action.”
The Dublin Fire Brigade reported that upon arrival, firefighters encountered a well-developed fire at the junction of Thomas Street and Francis Street. Breathing apparatus teams were promptly dispatched to extinguish the flames, with four fire engines and a turntable ladder from Dolphins Barn and Tara Street fire stations present at the scene.
As a precautionary measure, nearby buildings were completely evacuated, but fortunately, no injuries were reported. By 19:30, the fire had been successfully brought under control, bringing an end to the distressing incident.