Bread 41 to expand and open new restaurant in €265,000 revamp

Dublin bakery owner ‘believes in area’ and will continue to supply outdoor markets

Eoin Cluskey of Bread 41 on Pearse Street, Dublin: ‘We’ll have an in-out type thing every morning.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Eoin Cluskey of Bread 41 on Pearse Street, Dublin: ‘We’ll have an in-out type thing every morning.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

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Bread 41, the popular Dublin City bakery, is undergoing a €265,000 revamp that will see it expand into a new premises next door, as well as open a new restaurant upstairs.

The bakery, which is situated directly in front of Trinity College Dublin’s new business school under the Dart bridge, is owned by Eoin Cluskey who has used the months of the Covid-19 pandemic to make some significant changes to the business.

“We’ve expanded into the unit next door with a sort of lab concept with alternative sugars and grains. That’s been open for about 12 weeks. When Covid is done you’ll be able to walk in there and see the pastry room working. There’ll be a click-and-collet option there also.

“You can already walk along Pearse St and look in the window and see what’s going on. We want the bakers to see daylight and we want the public to see the bakers.”

Restaurant

Mr Cluskey is also in the process of opening a restaurant upstairs. “We were previously renting that unit as an office but we’ve taken that back since Covid hit,” he said.

“We’ve transformed that into an eatery and we’re trying to figure out what way it will look with people sitting indoors. We’ve recently put in a fresh air supply up there, so it’s 100 per cent air in and 100 per cent air out.

“I think we’re one of the first in Dublin to do that, and I think it will be pretty important going forward for people to know there is fresh supply coming in.

“It will be a 44-seater upstairs. We’ll probably make upstairs a bookable brunch at the weekend. I believe we’ll have that fully-fitted by the second week of June, and will be September before we’re allowed have anyone sitting there.”

Mr Cluskey said the downstairs section of the bakery, which previously seated 58 people, will change to reflect the post-Covid era, with about 25 per cent of capacity cut.

“It was always rammed, tight, with the windows all steamed up, because it was that sort of environment,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time to get back to that so we’re taking some seats out downstairs to give some breathing space.

“We’ll have an in-out type thing every morning. We’ll get rid of some of the seating downstairs. People will be able to sit-down upstairs now for food and see an open kitchen, which we didn’t have before, so that’s quite a significant move for us.”

‘Big things’ to come

Mr Cluskey said €265,000 has been self-invested into the project. He received €50,000 from Enterprise Ireland, of which €29,000 is repayable.

“It’s worth it,” he said. “I believe in the area. I believe people will come back to Dublin. A percentage of people will want to continue working from home but everyone needs that hustle and bustle in life no matter how much they give out about it.”

The current headcount of 27 will be grown to “a minimum of 36” when the bakery is fully operational, and there will be “big things coming down the pipeline”, he added.

In the meantime, Mr Cluskey said he will continue to supply outdoor markets as he has done since the onset of the pandemic.

When the pandemic hit, I bought a 1948 milk float,” he said. “We got that from the UK and we turned it into a bread-mobile.

“We go to Blackrock Market on Saturdays and Sundays as well as a farmer’s market called Naomh Olaf in Sandyford. We’ve grown into those markets and they’ve been a massive success.”

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