A home that’s pay as you go right in the city centre

Comfy sofas, gameboys, cuddly toys and unlimited tea and biscuits - Dublin’s latest venue is a homely hangout that charges by the minute

 

We’ve heard of office space you can rent by the day and hotel rooms that can be booked by the hour but The Clockwork Door is something different. Think of it as your home from home in Dublin city centre, a place where you can make a cup of tea, listen to music, play XBox, watch a movie and stay as long as you like - for eight cents a minute.

The venue is six rooms in a building on Dublin’s quays, with a ringside view of the Ha’Penny Bridge. It’s not a café and it’s not a flat, but it’s somewhere in between, says Ciaran Hogan who has just opened The Clockwork Door with his wife Olga Hogan, having seen similar ventures in Russia and Germany.

The space, some disused offices, has its its own front door at 51 Wellington Quay. It can take up to 100 people and will initially open from 10 am to 10pm and it’s an alcohol free zone. “If you’re intoxicated you can’t come in but if you arrive with a drink on you and just want to relax, that’s OK.”

There are nine sofas, dozens of chairs, shelves full of games, a cosy room with teddies, speedy wifi, a room full of Gameboys and Xbox handsets and a kitchen that will have over 50 types of tea, a coffee machine and unlimited biscuits.

“We wanted a place with a homely feel,where people could just come and hang around with friends.” says Hogan of the venture which he calls a Time House. He will log the time you enter, and calculate the price when you leave.

“It’s 8c per minute, which technically makes us the cheapest coffee in Dublin for quick drinkers.” There are group deals, membership and other ways to get even cheaper”, he says. A full day stay would cost you €30. 

Hogan, who qualified as a pilot but has never flown, had the idea when he was in Russia teaching English. “I saw something similar in Moscow and through it was very quaint and clever. Then I came back to Ireland on Good Friday and I was in the city centre, and it had virtually closed down because of the alcohol ban.” Plans for the venue include hosting clubs, Ted-style talks, and performances, as well as lot of just sitting around getting in from the cold. “Meeting places in Dublin can be crowded and expensive,” he says, “Or just plain cold. Lots of people meet at the gates of Trinity and just stand around” Instead they could be cosying up under a blanket, playing board games, or drinking endless cups of coffee. “I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want to use it. It’s a place to meet friends, to study or do an assignment if you want to use the wifi. Getting home is sometimes hard with bus strikes and the like.

The biscuit cupboard is groaning with digestives and chocolate chip. Isn’t he afraid pepole will devour them? “Not at all” he says. “We are trusting and calculating.”

The Clockwork Door opens on September 22nd at noon.

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