Sivad – Leopardstown from the Inside – Out

One year in. Saturday the 22 of July 2017,

By Graham Davis

One Year On – the ups & the downs.

One year and two weeks since we first felt that ecstatic excitement of opening our doors. It certainly sounds like a long time however it feels like no more than a couple of weeks. Reflecting on how long we’ve been open focuses you in on each occasion of drama, each of the “we made it moments” which in fact happened often enough to become cautious of feeling it again for the dread of it balancing itself out with another day.

When I say “we made it moment” I mean that split second when you see what you once envisioned actually going on around you. When you feel the adrenalin when you have that thought of – we turned the corner. The first feeling of this for me was in the month of November. The phone was ringing off the hook one Wednesday evening we had a large group in for a three-course meal in the early afternoon and our newly released early bird menu had proved to be a big hit as just as the clock struck six in the evening we had been swamped with walk-ins. Knowing full well we had a huge number of customers with reservations from seven onwards the three of us who were working on the floor knew that how well we got through the next hour would have a domino effect for the remainder of the evening. We got through it as you always do no matter how unprepared you may be. The adrenaline works wonders, it opens your eyes and lets you see things almost before they occur. The fact it was a Wednesday and we had record numbers through our doors was the big contributor to the thought that we had gotten exactly where we needed to be already.  The thought of if we are doing this on a Wednesday what the weekend going to be like?

Well, we were wrong. Driving to work the next day with the same excitement as I held on the first-day opening, even ensuring to be two hours earlier than I had to be with little or no sleep just to make sure everything was perfect for round two! Everything perfect in my eyes means that extra step that most people wouldn’t even notice, I’m not one to categorise things but the term OCD comes to mind. Not seen as a great trait to have but when it comes to something I just can’t help it.  The table settings, the wine bottle displays, the chairs along the banqueting seating being perfectly aligned the tables and the back legs of the chairs perfectly running along the line between the wooden floor. It’s these little things that I can’t let pass me. I know it drives some of the front of house staff mad but they completely understand when it comes to it. Afterall it’s all for the achievement of that fantastic write up we may get or the numerous reviews across the review platforms of on social media. These little extra steps are the first things I notice in other restaurants. From the moment I step foot through the door, I could tell you if the owners are there on regular basis. Everything sends signals, the organisation of the establishment, the attitude of the front of house staff and the functionality between the kitchen and floor staff.

These are just a handful of things that get me and what I feel adds to the Sivad Experience. I’m still learning them as I go along, implementing each day and pushing Sivad as a restaurant forward. One thing about the restaurant industry is you’ll never know everything, every day gives its new challenges and situations which need to be dealt with proactively and there are little places for answers. You need to just go with your gut.

Going with your gut is the only way forward. Sometimes the most impulsive decisions are the ones which were the best because you know what has to be done and you need to move in and make the decision before emotions get brought into the picture.

So looking over the year what has it been to me? To us? To Sivad?

It has been the best year of my life. It is the first of many years for sivad. It has been a test for us, it has tested the strength of a family and regardless of all has brought out a higher power among us all!


Graham Davis,

Director / Co Owner

Sivad – Leopardstown