Chef Kevin Thornton has bought Conrad Gallagher's former Peacock Alley restaurant in Dublin.

He is moving his two-Michelin-starred Thornton's restaurant from Dublin's Portobello Road to the site of the former one-Michelin-starred restaurant.

Peacock Alley closed in April when the Fitzwilliam hotel, in which it was housed, terminated its agreement with Gallagher.

Tipperary-born Thornton is one of only two two-Michelin-starred chefs in Dublin, the other being Patrick Guilbaud.

The Fitzwilliam hotel management chose Thornton from a shortlist of half-a-dozen candidates. The list included chefs from the UK and the Continent, as well as Ireland.

The restaurant, leased from the hotel, is run as a self-contained business. It is undergoing a refit, and reopens as Thornton's next month (September).

Meanwhile, Gallagher, who is understood to have landed a job in the USA, is due back in Dublin in October, when he faces trial in the Dublin Circuit Court on charges that he stole three paintings from the Fitzwilliam hotel while running Peacock Alley. He has denied the accusations.

It was some time after the alleged theft that the hotel terminated his contract on the grounds that he owed more than €80,000 (£51,000) in lease payments.

by Anthony Garvey

Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 15-21 August 2002 

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