Having been offered to the market in late 2014 at a combined guide price of €5.5 million, two high-profile pubs that formed part of Sean Quinn’s business empire are up for sale again for a total of €7 million.
While the new guide price is 27 per cent higher than the amount agent CBRE had been seeking when it first looked to dispose of The Barge on Charlemont Street and JW Sweetman on Burgh Quay, the increase in the interim reflects the current demand from publicans and investors for premises in prime city centre locations. The two pubs are being sold with the benefit of vacant possession on behalf of the liquidators of IBRC, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG.
In the case of The Barge, John Hughes of CBRE’s hotel and licensed division is guiding a price of €3.75 million. Located in a prominent trading position overlooking the Grand Canal at Charlemont Bridge, the property is arguably one of Dublin’s best-known licensed premises.
The property is situated in an established residential and commercial area and is close to both the Harcourt Street and Wexford Street entertainment areas and the city’s core central business district.
The Charlemont Street area meanwhile has been transformed over recent years by the completion of Charlemont Square, a redefining urban mixed-use development. Located adjacent to The Barge, the scheme, which is anchored by online retail giant Amazon, includes some 355,000sq ft of offices, 280 apartments together with retail space. Also adjoining The Barge is the 190-bedroom Clayton Hotel, while the nearby 193-bedroom Hilton Hotel has planning for an additional 130 rooms. The area is well served by public transport with Luas green line stops at Charlemont Street and Harcourt Street.
The Barge briefly comprises a part two-storey/part three-storey over-basement building fitted in traditional style with a lounge bar at ground-floor level, a mezzanine bar, first-floor bar, second-floor function room, and catering kitchen. The basement houses the pub’s cellar and beer cold room. The façade of the building is a popular product-placement site with advertising hosted throughout the year. The premises extends to 360sq m (3,875sq ft) and is well presented throughout.
Overlooking the Liffey
JW Sweetman (formally Messrs Maguire’s) meanwhile is a substantial licensed premises situated in a commanding trading position overlooking the Liffey at O’Connell Bridge and immediately adjacent to O’Connell Street and the Temple Bar area in the heart of Dublin city centre. The pub is also close to both Grafton Street and Henry Street, and within a short walk of the city’s now-thriving docklands district.
JW Sweetman is a traditional-style four-storey over-basement double- fronted licensed premises. Dating back to 1800s, the building retains many original features including ornate plaster work located in “The Conversation Room” – the original location of the Dublin Library Society. The original Sweetman Brewery was located in this area before being sold to Arthur Guinness & Sons.
The pub’s accommodation comprises a ground-floor bar with a rich traditional interior. On the first and second floors there is similar lounge bar accommodation while on the third floor there is a catering kitchen with a dumb waiter to all floors. In the basement there is a cellar bar, cold room and microbrewery production area. The entire extends to 830sq m (8,934sq ft) of accommodation. JW Sweetman is being offered for sale with a guide price of €3.25 million.
Commenting on the sale, John Hughes of CBRE said: “These properties will appeal to existing publicans wishing to expand their existing portfolios, new entrants and to investors.”