Last Moore Street cafe may be turned into bookmakers

Ladbrokes plan would replace Ann’s Bakery with third bookies outlet on historic street

Ann’s Bakery:  market stall holders are “strongly opposed” to the outlet being made into a bookies. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ann’s Bakery: market stall holders are “strongly opposed” to the outlet being made into a bookies. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

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Bookmakers Ladbrokes is proposing to turn the last cafe on Dublin’s Moore Street, Ann’s Bakery and Restaurant, into a betting office.

While there are two other bookmakers operating on the street, Paddy Power and Boyle Sports, Ann’s was the last cafe operating on the street.

Local businesses, Moore Street market traders and representatives of an advisory group on the future of the street have objected to Ladbrokes’ plans.

In a submission, Tom Holbrook, chairman of the Moore Street Traders Committee, said market stall holders would be “strongly opposed to having a business of this nature in Moore Street”.

He said the street was “overrun with anti-social activity, eg street drinking, contraband, undesirables, loitering etc”. These problems deterred shoppers from “an already suffering street”, he said.

“Moore Street is famous worldwide for its food and character. We feel this proposed business would take away from that.”

Stephen Troy, a Moore Street butcher and a member of the Dublin 1 Business Alliance, said another bookmakers would have a detrimental effect on plans to develop a 1916 commemorative centre on the street.

Heroes of 1916

“There are plans to implement a national monument within the Moore Street terrace to commemorate the heroes and events of 1916 which will become a huge tourist attraction, and it would look absolutely hideous to have another gambling outlet adjacent to such a building.”

It would also alter the character and custom base of the street, he said.

“I am a member of the expert group appointed by Minister [for Heritage] Josepha Madigan with the sole aim of revitalising Moore Street and the addition of another gambling outlet completely undermines the efforts of this expert group.”

Ladbrokes is proposing to transform Moore Street’s Ann’s Bakery and Restaurant into a betting office. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Ladbrokes is proposing to transform Moore Street’s Ann’s Bakery and Restaurant into a betting office. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sharon Greene, appointed to the expert group to advise on market management, said a “good diversity of retail uses” is needed to draw customers to markets, and cafes in particular caused them to “linger” in the area.

“For this reason I would strongly oppose the change of use sought for a Ladbrokes betting shop on Moore Street, which would bring the number of betting shops on the street to three.”

‘Vitality and vibrancy’

In their planning application to Dublin City Council, consultants acting on behalf of Ladbrokes said another bookmakers on Moore Street would not constitute an intensification or proliferation of betting shops in the area

“Betting offices represent an appropriate city centre service which serves to attract people into the area and add to the mix of uses which we submit will aid the vitality and vibrancy of the area.”

While Ann’s Bakery is closing its Moore Street outlet, it remains in business on Mary Street and North Earl Street.

The building, which is part of the Ilac centre, is owned by UK property group Hammerson which plans to develop a mixed-use retail, office, hotel and residential scheme on the opposite side of Moore Street, and Irish Life Assurance plc. The companies granted consent to Ladbrokes to make the application.

A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said the Ladbrokes application related to a “modern commercial building” and therefor the proposed change of use was a matter solely for the city council to determine.

Submissions on the application can be made to the council until June 25th.