Thursday 27 July 2017

Scruffy Murphy's to be demolished for aparthotel as JJ Smyth's sold for €1.4m

Scruffy Murphy's in Dublin 2
Scruffy Murphy's in Dublin 2

Gavin McLoughlin and Ronald Quinlan

Well-known Dublin watering hole Scruffy Murphy's is set to be demolished after plans were lodged for a five-to six-storey aparthotel at the site.

A letter lodged with Dublin City Council in the name of Tim O'Connor says O'Connor wants to knock down the old pub and install a 36-bed aparthotel above a ground-floor restaurant, bar or cafe.

The pub, which has been closed for a period of time, was put up for sale for €1m last year.

Located close to Merrion Square, it was a well-known after-work watering hole.

The development mirrors plans by Tetrarch Capital, which was granted permission for an aparthotel in Dublin 2 in December last year by Dublin City Council.

Aparthotels offer bedroom accommodation similar to hotels while also offering kitchen accommodation to facilitate self-catering.

They can be cheaper for owners to run than hotels, according to Aiden Murphy, a partner at accountants and business advisors Crowe Horwath.

"What you're seeing now is that with centralised reservations, [owners] do not have to be on site, and therefore I suppose you can run a property of this nature possibly with one porter to look after the guests' needs. Because you're in a city location, food delivery can come through services such as Deliveroo, and with mobile devices there's no great reliance on having a reception in place," Murphy said.

"What we're seeing is more and more executives are coming in to Ireland where corporates are setting up new locations or taking on more people. They're looking to find their feet in Dublin, find suitable accommodation.

"Having an aparthotel suite available for a number of weeks or a number of months would be very suitable."

Elsewhere in the city, the landmark JJ Smyth's Pub on Aungier Street has changed hands for around €1.4m following the retirement of its owner, JJ Smyth, after a lifetime spent in the licensed trade.

John Ryan of CBRE's Hotel and Licensed division confirmed the sale of the pub which is famed for its first floor music and jazz club, telling the Sunday Independent that it had been acquired by a "well-known businessman supported by an experienced publican".

While Ryan refused to be drawn on the identity of either individual, he said the deal reflected the "continuing strong appetite from existing publicans to acquire city centre licensed premises".

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