Offaly family restaurant in bid to buy current building
The family behind one of Offaly's longest-standing and most popular restaurants have gone public with their efforts to purchase the building they currently lease in Tullamore.
The Tahraoui family have been in their current home on Patrick Street since 1999 and their current lease on the building runs until 2030.
Owner Paula Tahraoui tried to purchase the building when it went up for sale in recent months but has been informed that the current holders of the building are putting it up for auction with the BidX1 online auction house later this month. Any sale of the building will not affect Sirocco's current lease but the property does come with vacant upper-floor office space. It has a guide price of €240,000.
Paula's son Adam Tahraoui has taken to social media in recent days to appeal to people to be aware of the fact that they would be bidding against his mother and her wishes to own the building in the auction.
Taking to Facebook, Adam says owning the building that has housed their family restaurant for almost two decades is a dream for his mother. He described how she kept the family and restaurant afloat even after the tragic death of her husband Rico in a car accident in the year 2000, less than a year after the Italian restaurant opened its doors.
"My mother’s world was turned upside down. Seven months pregnant, with three kids and a business that was just beginning to grow, she was left in a situation that most people wouldn’t have been able to deal with," Adam said. "Not only that but she went above and beyond her duties, actively contributing to charities and helping other local business and families over the years," he added.
Despite this hardship, Paula made a success of Sirocco's and it remains one of the county's most popular restaurants. "Last Summer, Mam finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel when our building went up for sale; it was the goal she had been working towards the last 18 years, yet the vulture funds, sellers and liquidators in charge of the sale of our premises wouldn’t even engage in conversations when Paula expressed her interest to buy the property," Adam explained.
Adam says his mother was the obvious choice and was "ready to close the deal there and then." He adds that after a year and a sale agreed sign going up in front of the building, she was informed that the premises instead was being put up for auction.
"There are now two signs outside our premises, one Sale Agreed and one stating the building is up for auction," Adam said. "Can anyone explain this? The sellers won’t? How can a building be sold yet up for auction simultaneously?" he added.
"It’s an abhorrent crime and we won’t take it lying down. If you can do one thing today, please share this post, potential buyers need to know who they are bidding against so they do the right thing by not standing in her way," Adam appealed on social media.
"She’s worked too hard and sacrificed too much to let somebody walk in off the street and buy her dreams out from underneath her," he concluded.