Thirty years of Elephant & Castle
Dublin’s original purveyor of wings celebrates 30 years in business! How it all began..
George Schwartz, a German boy who escaped Nazi Germany, was studying medicine in London when he came across a tube station with a fairytale name – Elephant & Castle. Little did he know how important this name would become in his life and legacy. Having trained as a doctor, George moved to New York City, where he described, in detail, how he had to endure decades of disappointing lunches while working in the hospital. When he retired, George decided to open up a place that he would like to eat in every single day, and went about setting up his own restaurant with a special name that he never forgot! And so in 1973, Elephant & Castle was born on Greenwich Avenue, Lower Manhattan. George’s passion and obsession for quality was infectious and Elephant & Castle became a New York classic within a few short years.
Wings Take Flight In Dublin
A random, but inspirational event occurred when one of George’s most trusted chefs, returned home to Ireland for a visit in 1988. Having worked in Elephant & Castle New York for nearly a decade, she knew the brand inside out and was the perfect person to expand the herd overseas.
They arrived in Dublin aiming to find a location as similar as possible to his Manhattan eatery. Late 1980s desolate Temple Bar was his decision. Backstreets, empty pubs, no traffic. Perfect! The doors opened in January 1989 and by that summer the queues had already started for the fantastic food and spectacular atmosphere.
Wings Get Another Roost In Dublin
2018 saw a new exciting chapter in the Elephant & Castle story. Expanding beyond the original hood of Temple Bar, and stomping into some new ones. Rathmines, with its deep rooted food scene, was as good a place as any for the second Irish location. The signature white facade from Temple Bar was replicated, bringing new life to this previously quiet corner of Rathmines village.
In 2019, the herd expanded again! Doors were opened in both Monkstown and, more recently, the Beacon Quarter, Sandyford.
30 years on, Elephant & Castle has firmly asserted itself into the Dublin restaurant landscape. Here’s to 30 more – full of great memories, exciting menus, world class service and of course the wings!