A landmark Dublin pub is set for redevelopment after it was bought last week for about €3 million by high-profile Galway developer Padraic Rhatigan, and Stewart Doyle, a financier who used to work for Dermot Desmond.
UTC Developments, a company set up by Mr Rhatigan and Mr Doyle specifically for the deal, has bought Uncle Tom's Cabin, a 130-year old pub with a large adjacent car park that makes it a prime site in Dundrum. It is already zoned for residential development in what is one of south Dublin's most sought-after areas.
The pub on the outskirts of the village was sold by the family of veteran Dublin publican Tony Collins, who is retiring from the trade. His family has operated a pub on the site since 1890, which is the last time it came up for sale.
It is understood that the new owners intend to keep Uncle Tom’s Cabin open and trading for the time being, until a final decision is made on the type of scheme for which planning permission will be sought.
Although the sale only closed last week, the deal was agreed about two months ago. The pub came on the market earlier in the year seeking offers of about €3.75 million, its alternative use value as an infill site buttressed by the car park.
In recent days, UTC registered a number of documents with the Companies Registration Office outlining details of the transaction. Debt finance for the buyout is being provided by alternative lender RELM Finance, which is backed by businessman and former Treasury Holdings developer, Richard Barrett.
The documents show that Galway builder Mr Rhatigan's 50 per cent stake in the scheme is controlled via an entity called Bracklagh, while he is also listed as a director of UTC. Mr Doyle's stake is held via SFD Projects, but he is not a director. He appears to be represented on the board by Jerry Sheehan, a solicitor and former director of Blackrock Clinic.
Mr Rhatigan, whose Dublin projects include the Radisson hotel at Golden Lane in Dublin city centre, has re-emerged from the last property downturn as one of the most active builders in the city. His past major projects include a huge scheme near Eir's headquarters across from Heuston Station.
Mr Doyle is a former Davis Cup tennis player and a nephew of the late hotel industry legend, PV Doyle. He formerly ran QED Equity for Mr Desmond, but that company is now being wound down. He was also a principal in alternative lender Broadhaven Credit Partners, which was backed by Mr Desmond. Mr Doyle now runs SFD Capital.
Separately, another landmark Dublin pub has changed hands in recent days, it is understood. The Leeson Lounge on the junction of the city’s two most expensive postcodes, Dublin 4 and Dublin 2, has been sold for close to €2 million. It was bought by Tom McGuire, who owns O’Brien’s pub next door and The Foggy Dew in Temple Bar.