Cost of Dublin pubs soars as 'mixed development' schemes take hold

The average sale price has risen threefold since 2010, according to the latest property industry figures

In demand: The Old Stand in Dublin, main picture; Davy Byrnes, top right; The Stillorgan Orchard

Adrian Weckler

The average sale price of a Dublin pub soared by 64pc to €1.68m in 2018, according to one of the country's biggest commercial property consultancies.

It means that the transaction sale price of a pub in Ireland's capital is now almost three times what it was in 2010, outstripping the market for licensed premises in non-urban areas.

However, the number of pubs sold in Dublin was 21pc lower than 2017 and 35pc lower than 2016.

According to CBRE director John Ryan, the average price reached €1,678,000 this year up from €1,020,000 in 2017. In 2010 the average price paid was just €650,000.

CBRE’s John Ryan

The figures were taken from 19 pub sales recorded in Dublin, down from 24 in 2017 and 30 in 2016.

High-profile transactions included a number of south county Dublin pubs, including The Stillorgan Orchard and Baker's Corner in Deansgrange, which sold for €3.5m and €5.5m, respectively.

Baker's Corner was sold by publican John Brady to a consortium which included the Loyola Group with Stephen Cooney and Brian O'Malley. Pubs within the Loyola Group include The Leopardstown Inn, The Old Spot and The Bath on Bath Avenue and The Jar on Wexford Street.

The leasehold interest of The Old Stand has also recently been sale agreed for a sum of over €3m, according to Mr Ryan.

"Davy Byrnes, made famous by James Joyce's novel 'Ulysses', is also understood to be close to a deal for a price near the guide price of €6m," he said.

Mr Ryan said that one of the key trends during the year was the number of licensed premises being put on the market with 'alternative use potential'.

"It has been many years since these three words were used in conjunction with the licensed trade, but this year saw a number of such sales," he said.

Brady's pub in Castleknock was offered with planning permission for 36 high-end apartments while the Black Horse pub in Inchicore was acquired by a developer for residential development. Louis Fitzgerald's The Big Tree on Dorset Street was also sold for residential and commercial development.

Kiely's in Donnybrook, put on sale in September with a guide price in excess of €5m, is now said to be sale agreed according to Mr Ryan.

"While there is some uncertainty around the impact of the recent Budget 2019 Vat increase on food sales and the impact of Brexit on UK tourism, the underlying strong economic conditions are providing a robust platform going forward," he said.

"For the Dublin licensed property market, 2018 will be remembered as a year of quality rather than quantity.

"Buoyed by continuously improving economic conditions it was considered that 2018 would be a perfect storm when publicans at retirement age would put their properties on the market and those with expansion strategies would have the finances to buy. However, it wasn't to be."

Other notable pubs to be offered for sale during the year included O’Dwyer’s in Kilmacud, The Purty Kitchen in Dun Laoghaire, Shanahan’s in The Coombe, The Foxhound Inn in Kilbarrack, The Kestrel in Walkinstown and The Beach Tavern in Irishtown