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Karen Koster and husband John concerned over pub extension by Leinster rugby stars


Koster and Maguire

Koster and Maguire

Bridge 1859

Bridge 1859


Koster and Maguire

Karen Koster and her husband John Maguire have raised concerns over the proposed expansion of The Bridge bar near their home.

The Bridge 1859 is owned by rugby stars Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, his brother Dave and Sean O'Brien. Noel Anderson of the Grafton Lounge is also a partner in the venture.

Last month, they lodged a planning application with Dublin City Council to extend the Ballsbridge premises.


They want to extend their two-storey over-basement pub into Bella Cuba, the restaurant next door, and convert part of the building that spans an archway into the residential neighbourhood, Clyde Lane, into a lounge.

Koster and Maguire, who have a five-month-old son, Finn, are concerned that the space, which is near their home, could be used as a beer garden or smoking area.

The couple want the planning permission to stipulate that the lane cannot be used for either of those purposes.

A submission was made on their behalf by architecture firm Niall D Brennan Associates.

"Our clients' young family live in the only remaining residential house that opens directly on to this part of Clyde Lane," the submission said.

"While having no objection to the trading and reasonable expansion of the bar premises, our clients would be concerned if any attempt were made to use Clyde Lane as any form of external drinking area, beer garden or smoking area."

The HSE said in a separate application that any changes must be compliant with smoking laws.

The Leinster rugby stars, along with other investors, bought the pub for €1.35m last September and redesigned the former Bellamy's into a trendy bar.

In their application to extend, they said Bella Cuba had been forced to close as it had only one stairway as a fire exit.

They said that a stairwell belonging to The Bridge could be used to resolve any safety issues regarding the proposed extension.


"This is a proposal to continue the use of the former Bella Cuba restaurant as part of the public house, which has a significant food businesses as part of its trade," the application read.

"No late-night openings or nightclub activity are proposed as part of this application.

"The business proposed will be the same as that of the existing premises, hence, there will be no adverse impact on existing dwellings."