One of Dublin’s last surviving Victorian pubs, Bowe’s on Fleet Street, could more than double in size if a recently lodged planning application is approved.
The application seeks to increase the size of Bowe’s and the adjacent Times Hostel while slightly decreasing the floor area of Doyle’s pub.
The application follows the purchase of 6 College Street, the building that formerly housed the Irish Yeast Company, by the owner of Doyle’s for €850,000 in August.
Capital Estate Management Limited, which controls the Times Hostel, has applied to develop the site between 6 and 9 College Street and 28 to 31 Fleet Street.
The proposed development would see the hostel increase from 1016sq m to 1214sq m with the addition of nine dormitories (three per floor). It would also see Bowe’s increase in size from 142sq m to 336sq m and a slight reduction in the size of Doyle’s to 743sq m.
Carlow businessman Declan Doyle owns the existing Doyle's pub as well as Bowe's, a former Ladbrokes betting shop and now the Dublin Yeast Company. The Times Hostel, also owned by Mr Doyle, operates on the same block, above street level.
Since 2014, Mr Doyle has sought planning permission to incorporate the betting shop into Bowe’s and expand the entire area into Doyle’s.
However, the proposal was refused by Dublin City Council in 2014 because it would have been "detrimental to the character and appearance of the buildings themselves and the overall streetscape", the council said.
The pubs and the former bookmakers were built between 1798 and 1812 on a site which rounds the corner at Fleet Street on to College Street, and are protected structures. A pub was opened at the current Bowe’s premises in 1854 by Christopher McCabe. In the late 1880s it changed to the hands of John O’Connor and in the early part of the last century, it became Bowe’s.
The Irish Yeast Company went on the market earlier this year following the death of proprietor John Moreland, who operated the business and lived overhead for more than 60 years.
The business first opened in 1894 in what had been the foyer of the George Hotel, which later became a bank and subsequently reverted to what is now the Westin Hotel.