Best Shopkeeper: Patrick Sheary
Patrick Sheary in his menswear shop in Dublin’s Clarendon Street. Photograph: Simon J O’Neill
Patrick Sheary Menswear, on Dublin’s Clarendon Street, looks like it has been in situ for generations. In fact, the fit-out with its overstuffed armchairs and leather-topped display cabinets is just one year old. Before Sheary got his own shop window, he was selling suiting from a room upstairs in the same building. Before that the entrepreneur was selling suits out of the back of a van – until a friend, Paul Tobin, offered him the use of a room at his car showroom on the Kylemore Road, in return for helping him to sell cars.
The masculine space on Clarendon Street is a place where customers pop in, have the craic, get fitted for a suit and become part of Sheary’s wide circle of friends – once they have succumbed to his unique initiation rite. Paddy, as he is known, seals almost every sale with a big bear hug, except for the few “hardened countrymen” who balk at such tactics. Once inducted into the Sheary circle, these customers then use the shop as if it were their own, he says.
“They leave their shopping there, come in to change a nappy or just hang out in the clubhouse atmosphere.”
It is all part of the hospitality that is second nature to this publican’s son – his family runs Sheary’s on Bangor Drive in Crumlin. Having a shop window has seen trade increase by 60-70 per cent, year on year.
“Patrick Sheary Menswear opened when others thought it mad to be opening any type of business,” says Marcus Houlihan. “Through incredibly hard work, dedication and very personal service it now appears to be thriving. It’s time this was recognised.”
Well it has.
Patrick Sheary Menswear, 33 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2, tel: 01- 6111 846,