Friday 18 October 2019

Copper Face Jacks could be yours . . . for a cool €40m

Last shift: retiring owner puts iconic club up for sale

Success: Copper Face Jacks on Dublin’s Harcourt Street. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Success: Copper Face Jacks on Dublin’s Harcourt Street. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Nurses, gardaí and GAA fans start saving now - iconic Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks is up for sale.

Owner and ex-garda Cathal Jackson is to retire and is selling Coppers - as it's popularly known - and the Jackson Court Hotel to which it is attached. However, you'll need to skip a few nights out to save up - industry sources believe the combined property could fetch more than €40m.

"Over the past 23 years, I have been totally committed to setting up and establishing Copper Face Jacks as one of the most enduring and successful entertainment venues in Ireland," Mr Jackson said. "It is now time to hand over the reins to new owners who have the energy and the expertise to take Coppers to the next level."

Coppers is probably the country's best known nightclub and has been a rite of passage for young clubbers for decades. It has acquired a legendary status in Irish pop culture, playing host to hen parties and high flyers, and anyone looking to get "the shift".

It was first opened in 1996 and has been extended a number of times over the years.

After becoming Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar celebrated his new job with a party in Coppers. Ross O'Carroll Kelly creator Paul Howard has written a musical about it, while in 2011 Dublin's All-Ireland-winning football captain Bryan Cullen told the Croke Park crowd: "See you all in Coppers."

The sale is being handled by estate agent Dermot Curtin. He said it was a "once in a generation" opportunity.

"The intrinsic property value alone of these five buildings in the heart of Harcourt Street in central Dublin underpins the future of this project," Mr Curtin said. "The property is in excellent condition, has been very successful and profitable since it opened and with the present owners stepping aside, the sale presents a very unique opportunity to take the Jackson Court Hotel and Copper Face Jacks Night Club on to even greater success over the next 25 years."

The sale takes place at a time of change on the Dublin nightclub landscape. A number of famous venues have closed their doors in recent times, including the Wright Venue in Swords, Lillie's Bordello off Grafton Street, and Club 92 in Leopardstown.

Breanagh Catering, the company behind Coppers and the Jackson Court, made a profit of €3.5m in its 2018 financial year. That compared with a profit of €4.4m in 2017, and €4.3m in 2016. It had accumulated profits of more than €75m over the years, and a cash pile of €63m.

The sprawling venue, where nights often finish with 'Amhrán na bhFiann', is attached to the 36-bedroom Jackson Court Hotel.

The marketing documentation for the property also touts its potential to target daytime footfall for food and beverage offerings.

Irish Independent

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