Pub giant Wetherspoons keen to push ahead with Dublin city projects 'which would create 200 jobs'
JD Wetherspoon is keen to expand its presence in Ireland as the superpub warned of high costs and lower sales over the next six months.
The British pubs group currently operates five pubs in the Republic of Ireland, including The Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock and The Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire.
But the low-priced bar and restaurant - founded in 1979 by chairman Tim Martin - is looking to double the number of its pubs across the country.
"Our five Republic of Ireland pubs are doing very well and it is clear that our customers enjoy what is on offer," Mr Martin told independent.ie.
“We are keen to open more sites in the Republic and as well as the four new sites we currently have, we are also looking for new sites too.”
Wetherspoon has sites in Dublin city centre – Abbey Street and Upper Camden Street/ Lower Camden Street - but planning permission approval for these have been delayed.
The company aims to build new pubs at the two Dublin sites plus a 100 bedroom hotel at the Upper Camden St site.
According to Wetherspoon, both Dublin projects would create 200 new jobs plus a €20m investment in terms of purchasing the sites and developing them.
Meanwhile, the firm has warned that significantly higher costs and lower like-for-like sales in the next six months may take the shine off higher sales over the Christmas quarter.
Mr Martin said like-for-like sales rose 3.2pc in the 12 weeks to January 15, the second quarter of its fiscal year, with like-for-like sales for the 25 weeks to January 15 up 3.4pc.
Local resident Barry Chambers halted the Camden Street plans after lodging an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against Dublin City Council's decision to grant permission.
Mr Chambers pointed out that there are already 14 pubs on the Camden Street/Wexford Street area with 13 cafes/restaurants.
As the case is due to be decided by April this year, a Wetherspoons spokesperson said the company "still needs various permissions in order to start developing the sites".
The company also has sites in Carlow and Waterford but there is no building or opening dates for these as yet.