British discount pub chain JD Wetherspoon says it will open its €21m hotel and bar in Dublin's Camden Street in October and hire 200 workers to run the place.
Wetherspoon had originally planned to open the Keavan's Port hotel and pub - representing the single biggest investment by the firm in its 41-year history - last year. But a series of delays, capped by the Covid-19 closure of construction sites, means October 20 is the new opening date.
The publicly listed firm operates more than 875 pubs and 50 hotels, including seven pubs and one hotel in the state.
Most of its UK pubs and hotels have reopened, particularly in England. It plans to reopen all of its pubs here - in central Dublin, Cork, Carlow, Blanchardstown, Blackrock, Dún Laoghaire and Swords - on July 20.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said the firm was pressing ahead with Irish expansion plans despite the lack of tourism and bleak outlook for hospitality given Covid-19 uncertainties. It is developing new pubs in Dublin's Docklands, Galway and Waterford.
Keavan's Port - named after an 18th century place name for its location - will have two bars and two outdoor courtyards for drinking and dining. The 89-bedroom hotel will be the largest in the Wetherspoon portfolio.
"The project has gone back a few months as building work was put on hold due to Covid-19. However, we are delighted that building work is once again under way," Mr Hutson said.
"We believe the pub and hotel will be a great asset to Dublin. Hopefully it will act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the city."
Staff at Wetherspoon's central Dublin outlet, the Silver Penny, said they had erected polycarbonate screening to separate tables.
They also are removing all the usual hand-held condiments including ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar from tables.
A manager said they were being inundated with phone calls from customers asking why the pub wasn't already reopened, because many food-serving pubs did resume service on June 29. The Government has set July 20 as the date when all pubs can reopen.
The manager said Wetherspoon wanted to reopen only when fewer restrictions would apply - though confusion remains over whether they will need to take reservations.