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Wetherspoon pub chain planning first hotel for city

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Tim Martin, of Wetherspoons at The Three Tun Tavern, Blackrock

Tim Martin, of Wetherspoons at The Three Tun Tavern, Blackrock

Wetherspoon's Three Tun Tavern

Wetherspoon's Three Tun Tavern

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Tim Martin, of Wetherspoons at The Three Tun Tavern, Blackrock

UK pub chain Wetherspoon is eyeing up a city centre location to develop its first hotel in Dublin.

The pub company is reportedly in talks to buy a development site on Camden Street.

JD Wetherspoon has been aggressively increasing its presence in Ireland and is due to open its second Irish pub, The Forty Foot, at Dun Laoghaire tomorrow.

Wetherspoon has also purchased a large site for development in Waterford city.

The Waterford pub will be spread over two existing properties on Arundel Square and Broad Street. One is a former Permanent TSB branch.

Development

Now Wetherspoon is moving into the hotel market in Ireland and is has identified Camden Street as its first major development here.

The site is reportedly spread across eight buildings - including the Camden House hostel.

Wetherspoon has also purchased and is refitting pubs in Swords and in Cork city.

Last week the company controversially delisted Heineken products from its 926 pubs following a row over the supply of beer to its new Dun Laoghaire venue, effectively terminating a contract worth €76m in sales to the brewing giant.

The brewer refused to supply Heineken lager and Murphy's stout to Wetherspoon's soon-to-open second Irish pub.

The chain had been selling Heineken's premium lager brand for €2.95 a pint in its only other Irish pub, the Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock, before the row.

This was undercutting the price typically charged in Irish pubs by more than 40pc.

The Dutch brewer asked for personal guarantees from Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson before it would supply other products.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said the brewer's refusal to supply Heineken and Murphy's was "unacceptable".

"We have been trading with Heineken for 35 years and they have never requested personal guarantees before," Mr Martin said.

"It's obstructive to do so now, especially when we made record profits of around £80m (€101m) last year."

A representative for Heineken Ireland said that the situation was "unfortunate".

Customer

"We are aware of the comments made by JD Wetherspoon and its chairman. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position with a customer," the spokesperson said last week.

"It is not our intention to comment in any further detail at this point as we do not wish to comment publicly on relationships with any customer," the spokesperson added.

The Dun Laoghaire Wetherspoon's venture will sell drinks like Thatchers Gold cider, which costs €2.95 a pint.

hnews@herald.ie


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