Cafes/bar planned for chic block

The new owner of a Victorian style building at the junction of South Great George’s Street and Lower Stephen Street in Dublin 2 is reported to be planning to convert it into a number of restaurants and a bar after buying it for slightly over the €6 million guide price. The streets between South Great Georges’s Street and Grafton Street have attracted an unusually large number of new bars and restaurants in recent years.

The successful bidder, a Dublin businessman, has a choice of two planning permissions for the redevelopment of the property.

A planning consent dating back to 2006 allows for the demolition of the entire block with the exception of the façade on to South Great George’s Street and part of the frontage on to Lower Stephen Street and its replacement with a mixture of retail and office facilities extending to 5,177sq m (55,724sq ft) The permission was extended to July, 2016.

More recently – in 2013 – the redevelopment plans were scaled back and a second permission was granted for the refurbishment and extension of the existing buildings to provide 2,486sq m (26,578sq ft) of retail space in three separate units.


James Meagher of agents Knight Frank, who handled the sale, said that based on the high level of interest in the property he expected that there would be any number of traders interested in moving into the area.

When the same premises were last sold about eight years ago for €17 million, the purchasers along with adjoining owners including Dublin City Council (owners of the Drury Street car park) considered redeveloping the entire block running from South Great George's Street into Lower Stephen Street, Drury Street and Fade Street. The plan also envisaged opening up a new street from Drury Street to South William Street to capitalise on the close proximity to Grafton Street. The ambitious project was abandoned when the property market crashed in 2008.

The buildings that have now been sold were occupied for a century and a half by Dockrells hardware store until it closed in the early 1970s. Barry's fashion store traded out of the premises for several years but the four-storey over basement has been largely vacant ever since apart from the corner premises which are occupied by the Jaipur Indian restaurant. It trades under a licence agreement which will allow the new owner to secure vacant possession at short notice.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times