Wednesday 24 January 2018

Old Dublin knitting emporium linked with James Joyce to re-open next week as eatery

The The Woolen Mills closed on June 16, 2012, otherwise known as Bloomsday to Joyce lovers. Pic Collins Photos
The The Woolen Mills closed on June 16, 2012, otherwise known as Bloomsday to Joyce lovers. Pic Collins Photos

Ray Managh

An old knitting emporium, for which James Joyce worked as a salesman and which overlooks Dublin’s famous Ha’penny Bridge, opens next Monday as a restaurant, takeaway and bakery.

The famous Dublin Woollen Mills, housed for well over a century in a landmark building on the North Quays, was granted a full restaurant license today by Judge Alan Mahon in the Circuit Civil Court.

Constance Cassidy SC told the court the new restaurant had and retail store had been completed in accordance with planning permission and was entitled to its full restaurant license.

Ms Cassidy appeared for restaurateur Elaine Murphy and Brian Montague’s company, SRM Cook & Book Ltd., which also owns The Winding Stair eatery and bookshop next door with which it shares a fire escape.

She said the 150-seater ground and first floor restaurants would employ more than 50 staff and specialise in traditional Irish fare with a covered outside area beside a public sculpture which became a tourist attraction.

The sculpture, depicting two women resting on a bench with their shopping, became affectionately nicknamed “the hags with the bags” and had to be specifically cordoned off and protected during restoration works on the building.

The premises is on the list of protected structures and now includes a dining area on a terrace located on a flat-roof section overlooking the River Liffey and Ha’penny Bridge.

The Dublin landmark building at Ormond Quay Lower and Liffey Street Lower had been put on the market last year with an asking price of €1.8million and has been completely refurbished.

“It’s such an incredible part of Dublin’s history, socially, culturally and every way,” Ms Murphy said. “People from all over Ireland use the Woollen Mills as a real landmark.”

The store was opened in 1888 at Bachelors Walk but in the early 1930s moved to the junction of Ormond Quay and Liffey St.

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