Friday 20 July 2018

New Wetherspoon's gastropub on Abbey Street expected to be finished by Christmas

Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin
Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin

Ray Managh

Two protected buildings which will make up the 1,600 square metre footprint for JD Wetherspoon’s planned new gastropub in Dublin city centre will be connected by a glazed link at ground and first floor levels, a court has heard.

The company won a bidding battle with Irish Life for the 150-year-old former Trustee Savings Bank building at 12B and the former 1839 Baptist Chapel at 12C Lower Abbey Street.  Irish Life owns a neighbouring development.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan, in the Circuit Licensing Court, has granted Wetherspoon’s a declaratory order that will guarantee the company a full drinks license for its new pub and restaurant providing the development is completed in accordance with planning permissions.

Barrister Constance Cassidy SC, counsel for Wetherspoons, which makes its first foray into the city centre, said the company owned six other gastropubs around Dublin and Dunlaoghaire and in Cork.

Ms Cassidy, who appeared with William Fry solicitors, said part of the conditions laid down in the planning permission was that there would be no music or any other sound for entertainment amplified in or outside the premises but this had never been a problem for Wetherspoons as the company did not engage in late night entertainment or in-house music.

Architect Frank Kenny told Judge O’Sullivan that the proposed pub restaurant was in accordance with the provisions of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022 and was a fitting use for change of purpose and the conservation of protected buildings. Judge O’Sullivan said the development, just opposite the Abbey Theatre, would be an attractive addition to the area.

The development, expected to be completed well in advance of Christmas, will also have an outdoor beer garden and a roof terrace which will have a retractable roof.

The court heard Wetherspoons had employed a professionally qualified and accredited conservation architect to manage, monitor and implement to ensure adequate protection of the retained and historic fabric of the buildings during the works, including plasterwork, cornices and ceiling mouldings, staircases, balusters, handrails and skirting boards.

Judge O’Sullivan granted Wetherspoons a declaratory order assuring the company of a drinks license on completion to permitted plans.

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