BRITISH chain pub operator JD Wetherspoon is just days away from completing a deal to buy its first premises in Ireland.
It has purchased Tonic in Blackrock, Dublin, for a reported €1.5m with plans to transform the venue through a total investment of around €3m.
The company has said that the contracts have now been exchanged and it expects the purchase to be fully completed within the next 10 days.
Tim Martin, founder of JD Wetherspoon, said that it aimed to invest around €50m in Ireland over the next five to ten years.
Famous for its low-priced food and drink, the chain is a well known brand in the UK, where it runs more than 900 premises across the country.
However when the new premises opens, it will be its first foray into the Irish market.
In a statement, Mr Martin said that he hopes to open between 10 and 20 pubs around Ireland in the coming years, each creating around 50 jobs.
It is understood that the company has ambitious plans for a quick expansion on this side of the Irish Sea.
"We are well known for being competitive on the price of food and drink. We haven't quite decided on the pricing yet but it will be competitive," a spokesman for the company said.
"And if food and drink is expensive in Dublin, we will seem even more competitive.
"The prices are the kind of prices that people will appreciate," he added.
The chain is known for its sale of craft beers and real ales. When it arrives in Ireland, it will be looking for local brewers to work with.
At present there are no on-site or opening dates.
However, Wetherspoon aims to have the newlook pub open by April 2014.