The Martin Barry Group has taken a lease on St Andrew’s Church on Suffolk Street in Dublin 2, and aims to have the landmark building open as a food hall and multipurpose hospitality and cultural experience event space in the first half of 2025.
About 250 jobs are expected to be created in hospitality and management roles at the food hall, the company says.
The group operates three food halls in Prague and one in Berlin, under the Manifesto Market brand, including what it describes as “Europe’s largest food hall”, which opened in Berlin at Potsdamer Platz in January of this year, in the first phase of a global expansion plan. The Berlin Manifesto Market has more than 20 food vendors, along with a beer tower, bar and wine room, spread over 4,400sq m.
There will be space for 12 food vendors at the Dublin site, a mix of “small and medium independent chefs, restaurateurs and operators” and a mix of “first-time businesses with novel concepts, as well as established chefs with fine dining experience”, the company says.
Expressions of interest are being sought from chefs and restaurateurs, who will be assessed for their suitability for the venture. “The selection of restaurant partners is realised through a meticulous curation process, to achieve the desired quality, authenticity and maximise the diversity of types of cuisines available in one spot.”
Manifesto Market was cofounded by Martin Barry, a New York-born entrepreneur and former landscape architect with family connections in Co Sligo and Co Galway, and his wife Hollie Lin. They opened the first Manifesto Market in Prague in 2018.
“I was born in New York City to Irish parents and have called Europe my home since 2015,” Barry says, who is based in Prague. “We have built a family business from the ground up and are excited to invest in Ireland to return St Andrew’s to Dubliners, while reconnecting with my roots. We specialise in taking on challenging sites, and making them magnets to bring people together to enjoy good food across cultures and generations.”
St Andrew’s Church dates from 1860, and the site extends to more than 1,800sq m. The property has been owned by Fáilte Ireland since 2012, and was used as a tourist information centre. “In 2016, Fáilte Ireland appointed estate agents Cushman [and] Wakefield to manage an expressions of interest process to assign a lease. This process has now concluded,” a spokeswoman said.
A previous plan to open a food hall and entertainment venue on the St Andrew’s site, launched by the Michael JF Wright Hospitality Group in 2018, did not proceed.
The renovation of the property for Manifesto Market will be undertaken by Dan Daye from McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects (MDO Architects) and Colin McCabe from John J O’Connell Architects, along with the in-house architecture studio of Martin Barry Group.
In addition to food and alcohol sales, the Manifesto Market concept has a strong cultural strand, with film screenings, art exhibitions, cookery classes and community-driven events part of its activities. “Our mission is to connect people, and to activate the area. I am confident this food hall will make a positive impact to the Dublin ecosystem,” Barry says.