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After a relatively quiet weekend, when the new kitchen floor was laid, followed by a few pieces of equipment arriving, the restaurant today was again full of busy men going about their business in a calmly energetic way. The painter was constantly moving door frames and bits of plumbing out of his way so he could cover a stretch of wall. The carpenters were making and hanging doors like they were Christmas decorations. My grandfather was a carpenter – though he spent a lot of his life making coffins – and he always said that the hardest thing in the world was hanging a door well.

It still looks like a building site, which is unnerving so close to the re-opening date. But tomorrow the dining room floor goes in while the kitchen equipment gets connected, and by Thursday morning it will have morphed into a restaurant in need of some furniture. That’s the plan anyway, and when I hear the calm way that the foreman, Youenn, talks about it, I know it will happen.

RTE, the national tv station, have started to make a documentary about the rebuilding, not just of Paradiso but other shops, bars and cafes in the area too. It will (hopefully) be a feelgood Christmas story of renewal, going out on the 28th December, and getting it’s storyline from the tight rebuilding schedule of Cafe Paradiso.

Posted on: 15 December 2009

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