Updated: 11/07/17 : 06:08:14
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Conman Gallagher evicted from latest restaurant

Conman Conrad Gallagher who left The Model, Sligo suppliers and staff in the lurch over unpaid rent and bills has again become a cropper in South Africa.

Controversial Gallagher has moved around the US, Ireland and South Africa in various roles, leaving a trail of unpaid bills.

The credit-dodger had returned to South Africa in recent years after being declared bankrupt there in 2009.

And the knives were out again for Gallagher after his latest African adventure turned sour.

The businessman has recently been evicted from a pricey eatery in Port Elizabeth called, Gallagher’s on Stanley.

Eviction order

He was accused of non-payment by several suppliers and was subsequently served an eviction order from the landlord.

And the Donegal native allegedly left a string of unpaid suppliers in his wake when he moved to Port Elizabeth from Cape Town.

Gallagher also used Sligo Today to stiff a young university student working at the Port Elizabeth eatery out of monies owed.

Malvin Murefu was forced to abandon his studies over unpaid university fees because Gallagher used a range of excuses not to pay the young man his wages and tips.

Malvin said Gallagher told him he would get paid if he had uncomplimentary comments about him posted by the student last year removed from Sligo Today.

In an effort to assist the student, the editor complied with the heartfelt plea and removed the comments deemed offending by the conman.

However it was all in vain as the student did not get paid with Gallagher using further excuses such as, "the internet signal is not strong for money transfer."

              Gallagher posing outside the 'Gallagher on Stanley' from which he was evicted

The landlord at his former Cape Town restaurant, Cafe Chic, where he allegedly failed to fulfil an 18-month lease agreement, claimed she is owed €33,000 in rent and is taking legal action against him.

The Irish Sun
has spoken to a string of suppliers in South Africa who say they have been cleaned out by Gallagher.

‘He hasn’t paid a lot of suppliers and staff’

One Cape Town firm that suffered non-payment is Charly’s Bakery, which supplied another of Gallagher’s former businesses, Sundance coffee bar.

Speaking about how she was left out of pocket by the conman, Ms Biess — who has previously made cakes for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former South African president Thabo Mbeki and TV legend Oprah Winfrey — told the newspaper: “He moves around, not paying people. That’s what he does.

“We supplied to Conrad at Sundance coffee bar.

“He hasn’t paid a lot of suppliers and staff. He moved from Cape Town and seemingly done the same in Port Elizabeth.

“We got some money back by withholding product, we demanded cash payments. Others have got nothing back.”

'No idea'

Gallagher has recently admitted he did business with Charly’s Bakery when he owned Sundance, and added that he had “no idea if I still owe them money”.

 Also stung was a family-run business which supplied seafood to Gallagher in Cape Town.

The business owner told us: “He didn’t pay us money, it would be four figures.

“We had to pursue him, he left Cape Town, we pursued him to Port Elizabeth. He would always be so charming in person, calling me ‘my darling’.

“He would say he would pay but then there would be no payment. We still haven’t been paid. He did this to a lot of small businesses who simply can’t afford to be done like this.”

South African food blogger Chris von Ulmenstein blasted the way Gallagher does business.
Ms von Ulmenstein said: “The Sour Service Award goes to chef Conrad Gallagher, whose newest restaurant Gallagher’s on Stanley in Port Elizabeth has just been closed down due to non-payment of his debts — a few months after having been evicted from his former Breda Street restaurant premises in Cape Town (Café Chic), also for non-payment of rent, with payment being due to suppliers in Cape Town too.”

And amid speculation Gallagher could return to his homeland, von Ulmenstein added: “Conrad has fled to Ireland once before, leaving significant debt in Cape Town.”

Gallagher is being pressured by several South African suppliers, who have come forward to complain about his unpaid bills.

Confronted recently about the debts, Gallagher admitted to having some “bad debt with a few creditors” in Port Elizabeth.

          Gallagher pictured outside The Model Sligo where he left a large unpaid rent bill

Blaming bad luck, not understanding the local market and not being a “perfect person”, he said he was working towards clearing the debt and had already made major inroads in doing so.

Gallagher continued: “After our very quiet opening in July we were very busy, but in early September things started quietening down drastically.”

He rose to fame with Dublin restaurant Peacock Alley, where he was awarded a Michelin star between 1998 and 2002.

He then opened Ocean seafood bar in Dublin’s Charlotte Quay, as well as Lloyd’s Brasserie, Christopher’s and Conrad Gallagher’s Shaftesbury Avenue restaurant in London in 2001, but all failed due to financial problems.

In recent years he has moved around the United States, Ireland and South Africa in various roles, leaving unpaid bills and local suppliers reeling.

The chef’s return to Dublin saw him open Salon Des Saveurs in the city centre and Conrad’s Kitchen in Sligo.

In July 2011, Revenue filed winding up petitions against companies behind Salon de Saveurs and the venture in Sligo.

They were then closed over a €166,000 tax bill.

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