Trouble brewing if Caffé Nero opens in Dalkey

Local businesses seek meeting with Minister for Heritage over plans to open cafe chain

Local opposition to a planned Caffé Nero in Dalkey is growing, with locals planning to boycott the cafe if it opens. File Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Local opposition to a planned Caffé Nero in Dalkey is growing, with locals planning to boycott the cafe if it opens. File Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 14:30

Local opposition to a planned Caffé Nero in Dalkey is growing, with locals planning to boycott the cafe if it opens.

Planners in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council granted permission to Caffé Nero in May determining an outlet “would not diminish the vitality and viability of the traditional character of the street” but it is now under appeal.

A spokesman for the council said: “We can’t make any comment whilst a decision by the Bord is still pending.”

Caffé Nero opened its first store in the Republic of Ireland on Merrion Row, Dublin in March, which created eight jobs.

The company announced earlier this year, that it would invest €20 million in Ireland over five years and create 350 jobs across 40 stores.

Mary Caviston, owner of the Corner Note cafe, said Dalkey is a heritage town that prides itself on independent enterprise and locals may boycott the cafe if it opens.

When a Starbucks opened in the town in 2008, the cafe was forced to close after thirteen months after locals refused to go into the store.

Ms Caviston said there are already 20 cafes in Dalkey and the proposed Caffé Nero would “spoil the uniqueness of the town.”

“An appeal has gone into Bord Pleanála, which has reservations from residents and businesses in the area. I can’t imagine it will do their business any favours opening up here when there is so much opposition,” she said.

She said the next step would be for businesses to meet with the newly instated Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys to discuss what is considered an appropriate enterprise in a heritage town such as Dalkey.

Caffé Nero was founded in 1997 by Gerry Ford and is headquartered in London - its tagline is “The best espresso this side of Milan”

The family owned group is the biggest independent coffee retailer in Europe with more than 650 stores operating in seven countries.

An online petition against the proposed cafe said: “The proposed development at 26 Castle Street in Dalkey is a non-sympathetic disproportional protected structure, which would aggressively distort the nature of other local family businesses in our heritage town and distract to sustainable development unbalancing local commercial business. This is contributing to the takeover of our local main street by corporate chains, while independent, community-based outlets go under.”