Monday 23 October 2017

Publican chalks up Euros' trade flop to 'pathetic' Irish team action

Championships hit his revenue by 20pc after a total turnover of €15m last year

Publican Charlie Chawke said the June soccer championship in which Ireland lost all three matches was a flop for his eight-pub business
Publican Charlie Chawke said the June soccer championship in which Ireland lost all three matches was a flop for his eight-pub business
The Goat Grill is one of Charlie Chawke's pub-businesses

Gordon Deegan

ONE of the country's best-known publicans, Charlie Chawke, yesterday blamed the Irish football team's "pathetic" performance against Croatia for the Euros being a flop for his pub business.

Mr Chawke's eight pubs recorded a combined turnover of about €15m last year, and yesterday he said that the European Football Championships resulted in revenues being 20pc down at his pubs during the course of the competition.

The Adare native said: "The team was so pathetic against Croatia that people lost faith."

Publicans across the country had counted upon the Euros providing a significant boost to business, but Mr Chawke said: "They were a major disappointment. People didn't flock to the pub as we thought they would and they watched the games at home. The Euros didn't work for us at all. It upset our business."

Robbery

Mr Chawke -- who lost a leg during an armed robbery at his Goat Grill pub in 2003 -- made his comments as new filings show three of his firms, Miltown Inns, Alazwar and College Inns, recording profits last year.

Mr Chawke's group of pubs employ more than 300 people and he said: "We are running the business to pay our staff at the moment. We are holding it together. We haven't let any staff go."

Figures for Miltown Inns show that pre-tax profits dropped by 32pc to €158,248 in the 12 months to the end of May last year, while separate abridged figures for Alazwar show that it increased its accumulated profits last year from €683,242 to €701,184.

Abridged figures for a third Chawke pub firm, College Inns, show that accumulated profits increased from €11,981 to €191,548 in the 12 months to the end of April 2011.

Mr Chawke said that there has been "no great uplift" in business this year.

"We're in profit, but not as profitable as we would like to be. We are working very hard keeping our heads down and keeping the bank off our back. We have great staff and, hopefully, we will be in a good position when the economy turns."

Expensive sale

In 2005, Mr Chawke was involved in the most expensive pub sale in Irish history when he paid €22m for the Old Orchard Inn and site at Rathfarnham, Dublin.

The most recent accounts for the Orchard Inn show that it recorded a modest pre-tax profit of €304 in 2010 after paying €766,473 in bank loan interest payments. The company had bank loans totalling €22.6m at the end of October 2010.

Mr Chawke's other pubs include the Bank, the Lord Lucan, the Oval Bar and the Dropping Well.

Mr Chawke is currently renovating Searson's on Baggot Street and said that it would employ about 50 staff when it re-opens later this year.

He said: "All of the pubs are upmarket and are leaders where they are. We are very hopeful for Searson's. It is a great pub and I hope we can return it to its former glory."

Irish Independent

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