Wetherspoons pub plan for Abbey Street

by Aisling Kennedy

A planning application to build a new Wetherspoons pub on Abbey Street in Dublin city centre is due to be lodged to the council over the coming weeks.
The UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon bought the former TSB bank in Lower Abbey Street in early 2015 at a cost of €1.5m and subsequently bought the former Baptist church opposite the VHI headquarters on Abbey Street in November 2015 for €1.475m when it became available.
It is expected that Wetherspoons will amalgamate the two buildings into one large gastropub.
Eddie Gershon, spokesperson for JD Wetherspoons, told the Gazette that the company had not lodged a planning application for the two sites just yet but said: “We had submitted a planning application but then the adjoining building became available and we bought that which meant we needed to withdraw the application and resubmit a new one.”
He said that there is no opening date for the pub just yet but said: “We will update people as soon as we have necessary consents in place.”
Meanwhile, Wetherspoons has lodged a separate planning application with the council to build a 98-bed hotel, restaurant and bar on Camden Street in Dublin city centre.
As part of the planning application, the UK chain want to implement refurbishments, alter and construct the site throughout numbers 1-5 Camden Street, 49-51 Camden Street Lower and Grantham Place, Dublin 8.
The plans for the site are detailed and include many changes both internally and externally on the site.
The front of the buildings are to change to hotel and ancillary public bar/restaurant use and they are currently arranged as follows – No’s 4/5 Camden Street Upper (former stain glass manufacturers, now vacant), No’s 2/3 Camden Street Upper (formerly commercial offices, now vacant), No’s 1/49/50 Camden Street Upper and Camden Street Lower (formerly hotel/commercial and hostel), No.51 Camden Street Lower (formerly residential over ground floor commercial, now vacant).
As part of the plans, eight buildings fronting Camden Street Upper/Camden Street Lower will be interconnected.
The main entrance to the hotel and bar/lounge area is proposed at No 49 Camden Street Lower.
The development involves works and change of use of the chapel building (recent use as a gym/boxing club) and associated annexes to the rear of No. 49/50 Camden Street Lower to accommodate the hotel restaurant and ancillary areas.
The new build element is located to the rear and is located to the north and south of the existing chapel building with a new link building connecting to the rear of No. 49 Camden Street Lower.
The new building would contain 64 bedrooms, bar/restaurant space and ancillary accommodation over four levels (including a lower ground floor level).
Local pub owners in the Camden Street area were hesitant to comment on how the new Wetherspoons hotel and pub might affect their business but manager of The Bleeding Horse, David Tyrell, told the Gazette: “I think it’s going to give us more business to be honest. I can’t see a lot of people wanting to stay in a pub with no music and no atmosphere.
“We get a lot of business from the hotel next door – the Camden Court Hotel – so I reckon we’ll be flying out the door if we get that across the road.”

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