A family quarrel over a takeaway restaurant in Dublin’s Ballyfermot has led to a son opening a rival restaurant next door to his father’s business.
am’s takeaway on Ballyfermot Road has been open since 1991.
Jonathan Lam worked at his father Ken’s restaurant for over 20 years, but opens a restaurant called New Lam’s next door after an argument over pay.
Jonathan, 39, claims his father fired him when he asked for higher pay, leading to a dispute between the couple.
Lam’s will have an almost identical rival when New Lam’s first opens next week.
The “drama” surrounding the move has attracted so much attention that comedian Al Foran has created a skit about the opening of the new restaurant.
Jonathan said his business is not meant to hurt or cause trouble for his father.
“This case is the most talked about takeaway in Ireland and I haven’t sold a single chicken ball yet,” Jonathan told the Irish independent.
“People love the drama of it all. It’s not even that it’s two Lambs side by side, but rather a son taking on a father.
“I don’t hold a grudge against my father, but the reality is that he fired me because I asked for a raise. That is of course not correct. It’s not the first time he’s done something like this either.
He hasn’t even denied that fact in interviews he’s done recently with newspapers.
“The reality is that he has not only removed me from takeout, but also from his life. After he did that, we’d never meet for coffee again, would we?
“But this is my community and the best place I know to open a restaurant — a place I’ve lived all my life. More people now associate me with that restaurant than my father.
“I am doing this for the future of my family and to take control of my own destiny.
“I waited years for him to hand over control of Lam’s, he had been telling me for years that I would take over. “When you’re 30.” Then it was ‘when you’re in your mid-thirties,’ and now I’m 39. I would have waited a long time, because he was just stringing me along,” he said.
In addition to the two takeaways, a third Lam business will open as Ken also plans to open a sit-down restaurant in the future.
Jonathan said he still loves his father and would forgive him in the morning if the couple came to terms.
“He’s my father, even if he stabbed me in the back, I’d forgive him once the wound healed. But he sees me on the street now and he bows his head down,’ said Jonathan, admitting that reconciliation would be hard to see now.
“It’s actually heartbreaking, to be honest. But I know he’s not the real one.”
The Irish independent contacted Ken Lam for comment but could not reach him.
In an interview with the Irish sun this week, Ken said New Lam’s opening feels “like revenge.”
“My concern isn’t the money, I’m concerned about his dignity,” Ken said.
“If you open a store, why open next to me? He can open somewhere else. It makes it uncomfortable, why?
“I worry about his character, he has lost his dignity. People forget where they come from.”