Knobs & Knockers to quit Dublin city centre after 40 years
Owner of shop popular with tourists says high rents and Luas to blame for move
Owner Des Cooney: ‘If I had a euro for every photograph taken every day outside my shop, I’d be a rich man.’ Photograph: Ronan McGreevy
Famous furniture shop Knobs & Knockers is moving out of Dublin city centre after more than 40 years.
Knobs & Knockers opened at 25 Nassau Street in 1979 selling, well, knobs and knockers.
It’s been an unlikely stop on the tourist trail in all that time attracting the attention of a few celebrities on the way with Guns N’Roses guitarist Slash tweeting: “I have to send a shout out to the lady who gave me the killer ’knobs and knockers Dublin’ T-shirt, thank you, it’s awesome’.
US TV host Conan O’Brien tweeted a picture of Knobs & Knockers and added: “I’m furious. I went into this store in Dublin and it was not what I expected.”
Owner Des Cooney says: “If I had a euro for every photograph taken every day outside my shop, I’d be a rich man.”
He said the shop was originally called the Louvre Design Centre in 1972 after the French-based furniture company until a company with the same name in the UK objected to it.
So when the company moved to Nassau Street, the shop went by the rather prosaic name The Door Store.
“We found people were coming from all over the country saying, ‘I like that door. I’ll buy 10 of them’. We couldn’t stock that amount of doors so we moved the door store out to Dún Laoghaire and branded this place Knobs & Knockers.”
The pun was fully intended. “The name says what we do. We sell knobs and knockers. It had the advantage that it will be remembered that way.”
Mr Cooney says they are moving to Dún Laoghaire for two reasons. He says the lease is up and small businesses such as his cannot compete with the likes of coffee chains with deep pockets.
He also says the presence of the Luas on Nassau Street has made it very difficult for businesses such as his as many customers need to bring their cars.
“The Luas works has killed people’s urge to go into town and it is not coming back. The city council don’t want cars in the city centre.”
Knobs & Knockers is instead moving to a new premises in The Forge, Bakers Corner, Rochestown Avenue in Dún Laoghaire. The famous name lives on.