Judge signals JD Wetherspoon gastropub to get licence

Central Dublin hostelry will extend to 1,600sq m and is set for Christmas opening

The judge said the development, just opposite the Abbey Theatre, would be an attractive addition to the area. Photograph: Google Street View

The judge said the development, just opposite the Abbey Theatre, would be an attractive addition to the area. Photograph: Google Street View

 

Two protected buildings which will comprise the 1,600sq m space for JD Wetherspoon’s new gastropub in Dublin city centre will be connected by a glazed link at ground and first floor levels, a court has heard.

The company won a bidding battle with Irish Life for the 150-year-old former Trustee Savings Bank building at 12B and the former 1839 Baptist Chapel at 12C Lower Abbey Street. Irish Life owns a neighbouring development.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan, in the Circuit Licensing Court, has granted Wetherspoon’s a declaratory order that will guarantee the company a full drinks license and restaurant providing the development is completed in accordance with planning permissions.

Constance Cassidy SC, counsel for Wetherspoon’s, said the company owned six other gastropubs around Dublin, Dún Laoghaire and Cork. It also has pubs in Northern Ireland.

Ms Cassidy said part of the conditions laid down in the permission was that there would be no music or any other sound for entertainment amplified in or outside the premises. But this had never been a problem for Wetherspoon’s as the company did not engage in late-night entertainment or in-house music.

Architect Frank Kenny told the judge that the proposed pub-restaurant was in accordance with the provisions of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022. He said it was a fitting use for change of purpose and the conservation of protected buildings.

Constance Cassidy SC said part of the conditions laid down in the permission was there would be no music or sound for entertainment amplified in or outside the premises. Photograph: Google Street View
Constance Cassidy SC said part of the conditions laid down in the permission was there would be no music or sound for entertainment amplified in or outside the premises. Photograph: Google Street View

The judge said the development, just opposite the Abbey Theatre, would be an attractive addition to the area. It is expected to be completed by Christmas and will also have an outdoor beer garden and roof terrace with a retractable roof.

The court heard Wetherspoon’s had employed a conservation architect to manage, monitor and implement so as to ensure adequate protection of retained and historic fabric of the buildings during the works. This includes plasterwork, cornices, ceiling mouldings, staircases, balusters, handrails and skirting boards.

The judge granted Wetherspoon’s a declaratory order assuring the company of a drinks licence on completion to permitted plans.