Back in the winter of 1967, a young Italian entrepreneur called Tarcisio Marsella arrived in cold, wet Dublin with a burning ambition to make a life for himself.
Fate led him to Churchtown, where Tarcisio opened a traditional Italian chip shop on the Beaumont Road, right next to the Bottle Tower pub.
Fast forward almost 50 years, and the chipper is still a hub in the local community, famous for its top-quality food and fast, friendly service.
Now run by Tarcisio’s nephew John and his wife Elaine, what has changed in recent months is the look and feel of the old takeaway – and, of course, its name.
Chipmongers Churchtown is the first chipper in the new franchise launched by Irish retail giant Musgraves.
There are now three Chipmongers in the greater Dublin area, plus another in Enniscorthy in Co Wexford, and Johnny is proud to have been the very first.
He told The Gazette: “You have to move with the times.
“When Musgraves came up with the idea, I loved it. It was always something I’d wanted to do myself, and all of a sudden, everything I had wanted to do myself was made available, so it was brilliant!”
John said the response from the public to the change – which took place over a week and and coincided with the neighbouring Bottle Tower getting refurbished and reopened – had been positive.
He added: “The whole block basically got revamped in seven days. People were shocked to see Marcella’s close, and some probably thought we had gone.
“But that’s our message – we’re still here, it’s still us and we’ll continue to provide our loyal customers with generous portions of top-quality, fresh food at the right price.”
And they must be doing something right – unbeknownst to John, Chipmongers was nominated for a prestigious award by its customers – and it won.
With National Chipper Day around the corner, get on down to Chipmongers and see for yourself why Marcella’s is the 2017 Restaurant Ireland Takeaway of the Year !