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    • #707444
      Richards
      Participant

      Sad Day.There goes another Dublin institution. Some bland multiple chain will no doubt take up position in Bewleys Grafton Street. This street is now going to be truly like any other British High Street.
      Should the Government (or Dublincity Council) buy the two Bewleys Cafes and lease or develop them as a going concern. While I dont believe that it is the job of the state to aid any particular business, some kind of incentive should be made to try and save this Dublin institution. I certainly dont want to see Starbucks take this prime city centre location. In my opinion Bewleys could be one of Europes great cafes.

    • #748054
      GregF
      Participant

      This is a great pity….I hope that the Harry Clarke stained glass window in the Grafton Street premise won’t be damaged.
      David Norris and the like are already on the radio reminiscing about the place….ZZZZZzzzzzzz!

      They should change their menu to lapdancers, beer and burgers, in good Quaker tradition.

      I bet the cafes will continue in some form however…they just need to be revamped and ”sexed up” for a gullible public.

    • #748055
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.murraydunloparchitects.com/casestudies/110bathst/index.htm

      Ach I’m sorry to read this.

      We did Bewleys first project in the UK in Glasgow and a roof the sails half way over Bath Street.

      Great blokes but the project cause us no end of grief form the heritage police in Glasgow , still get letters of disgust

    • #748056
      notjim
      Participant

      i am really sorry about this but not suprised, the management were so annoying. for example, about three monthes ago they introduced a coffee to go style counter, about time, with danishes etc and put three tables in lobby, great, it was really well used and so, about a month ago they removed two of the tables. why? what were they hoping for when they put the tables in. another example, they recently made the ground floor table service and moved self-service upstairs, that’s exactly the wrong way around, self-service people want to be able to just walk in, people having a sit down affair like the sense of occassion that comes with going upstairs.

      i hope to god that the only effect of this is that the grafton street cafe will be taken over by someone who can run it.

    • #748057
      bluefoam
      Participant

      It sounds like an opportune time to give Harvey Nicholes the space they have been looking for on Grafton St. In my opinion Bewleys have purposefully let the cafes go to ruin because they saw the value in the retail space. The quality has be crap for years.

    • #748058
      notjim
      Participant

      now it would be a real shame if it became retail, all the wood, the stain glass, that must be listed in a way that would make it hard to convert it into retail.

      so, are bewley’s incompetant or evil?

    • #748059
      Lorcan
      Participant

      well why cant they keep the shopfronts and glass etc, but change the shop. i never really liked bewleys anyway, and wasnt a lot to write home about. bring on harvey nics!

    • #748060
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I blame the McCafe.;)

    • #748061
      Rory W
      Participant

      Why Bewleys closed
      1) premises too big
      2) worst coffee in Dublin
      3) overpriced ‘canteen style food’
      4) revamp of late 90’s killed original atmosphere
      5) management more interested in the brand for teas and coffees in the US than running cafe, let alone the hotel franchises
      6) poor value for money
      7) dreadful service
      8) change in coffee drinking habits
      9) no longer a draw due to all of the above

    • #748062
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Originally posted by bluefoam
      It sounds like an opportune time to give Harvey Nicholes the space they have been looking for on Grafton St. In my opinion Bewleys have purposefully let the cafes go to ruin because they saw the value in the retail space. The quality has be crap for years.

      i would tend to agree with you…

      genuinely saddened, but it hasnt been the same since the mid 90s makeover…. manys the evening, i topped of my beer with a bif fry at midnight there….

    • #748063
      ro_G
      Participant

      My money goes on large Hughes & Huges bookstore + Insomnia coffee shop (which they own).

    • #748064
      Devin
      Participant

      Double post – EEEK!

    • #748065
      Devin
      Participant

      Originally posted by Paul Clerkin
      manys the evening, i topped of my beer with a bif fry at midnight there….

      Yeah, they just started closing earlier & earlier, first 10pm then 8pm.

      folks tell me that, in the 60s & 70s, the whiff of coffee on the street walking by the Westmorland & Graft St. branches would knock you out & their cakes were extremely fine – & the quality nosedived when campbells catering took over.

      Still, there’s a current planning application in (ref. 4445/04) to expand the Bewley’s Hotel on Fleet St/ Westmoreland St into the foreign language school on the upper floors of the Cafe on Westm. St (including the “replacement of period windows to front facade at 10,11 & 12 Westm. St.” (graham!)) which the architects brazil lohan say in their covering letter “forms part of the masterplan for the whole site which is currently being prepared for planning application”.

      (???)

    • #748066
      notjim
      Participant

      we do need another large bookshop, borders would be my choice, but please please lets have it on dawson street so we’ll have a bookshop street.

    • #748067
      ro_G
      Participant

      i believe Borders may have looked at market here and decided against it

    • #748068
      J. Seerski
      Participant

      Im glad its going it was always a kip since the late eighties

      Hope the staff find BETTER PAID jobs – they were really bad employers. Rates were truly awful.

      Heres to there overpriced rubbish food and coffee vanishing forever!

    • #748069
      Devin
      Participant

      I hadn’t seen the piece in the paper – just saw it now – looks like the news puts the tin hat on that planning application

    • #748070
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      The Grafton Street store would make a fabulous bookshop…. all those levels are corners….

    • #748071
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I agree it would make a great book shop, But feel that it is more likely to ressemble River Island a few makeovers later

      In its present form it is absolutely no use to attract the type of retailer required to attract open market rental values, it would need to be altered beyond recognition for clothes or any other retail use other than as a cafe or bookshop.

      I really am begining to question the rationale behind the purchase, as I feel the initial yield of 7.43% adequately reflects the ‘protected status’ of the property.

      Given that prime retail yields at the time of the transaction were c 4% it is fair to discount current rental vales by about 40-45% thus giving a rental cost well below the market value.

    • #748072
      Anonymous
      Participant

      It hasn’t been Bewleys for a long time and how could it have been sure there wasn’t an Irish person working there for years.
      I wish Campell catering would also find my workplace unprofitable, the food is like chewing a car tyre sometimes.

      BTW I hope that some form of cafe remains maybe on the first or second floors, it would be a big loss not to be able to go into one of Dublins most famous places.

      Interestingly the old Bewleys in Georges St seems to be doing more business now than before it was a Bewleys, the wine licence certainly helps.

    • #748073
      notjim
      Participant

      ok i am convinced actually, it would be a really good bookshop.

    • #748074
      GrahamH
      Participant

      How much of the interior is original on Grafton St – I rarely go in there so don’t know it well enough. Was it the refurbishment of the Westmoreland St branch that everyone gave out about in the mid-90s? I’ve never been in that one at all – did it have an original 1900s interior? I’ve always loved the brown bow window separating the entrances here, got a charming late Georgian and Edwardian character to it. There should be cakes on display rather than bags of coffee though 🙂

      It is a sad day to see them close, whatever about standards etc.
      Indeed if you stand back from it all, it seems extraordinary that such an institution is shutting down – you’d never have believed it possible 2 or 3 years ago before the tide began to turn.
      To retain the name in some way for what ever replaces it would be nice.

      Just on that application for Westmoreland, considering this property is PVCed up to the hilt, presumably the ‘period windows’ refers to the insertion of Victorian plates or Georgian sashes, rather than reassembling the WSC features.
      There was a more detailed app in the adjoining building as I passed this evening, someone was standing in front of it though, couldn’t very well ask them to move!

    • #748075
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Graham,

      There is a tiled sign ‘Bewleys’ set well above regular shopfront height on the Grafton St facade, this will ensure that the Bewley name remains on Grafton St even if the new occupiers wish to insert new signage. Being realistic unless Sir Anthony steps forward Bewleys is gone

    • #748076
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yet more mention of Harvey Nichols! Im beginning to wonder about the people who post on this site – every large-ish building available (such as the former Bank of Ireland on College Green) is suggested as a Harvey Nichols. Is this a shopping discussion board? Does an English Department Store have all the answers to unused Dublin buildings?

      On the point itself – it will be a great shame if the cafes close. Quality may not be up to scratch but could be improved and if we keep on losing such city institutions, the city will be a pretty bland shadow of itself………………

    • #748077
      Jack White
      Participant

      Zap you are absolutely right it is sad that yet another Dublin institution is gone. Findlater House is a complete insult to the great tradition that family name once represented, Harvy nicks can retain status in London or even Dundrum, Grafton St will be at a serious loss minus Bewleys Oriental Cafe full stop

    • #748078
      burge_eye
      Participant

      Originally posted by Jack White
      Zap you are absolutely right it is sad that yet another Dublin institution is gone. Findlater House is a complete insult to the great tradition that family name once represented, Harvy nicks can retain status in London or even Dundrum, Grafton St will be at a serious loss minus Bewleys Oriental Cafe full stop

      Aren’t we all getting a little misty eyed? Grafton st is now officially the 5th most expensive street in the world. People’s tastes for coffee and food have rocketed in the last 5-10 years. Bewley’s is an idea, a throw back to the safe old days of breakfast with granny in Bewleys. It has been left behind and seems powerless to sort out it’s act.

      The fact is that it is literally a facade. A nice building with a crap coffee shop behind the myth. By all means keep the buildings, list them even, but I for one won’t miss the coffee.

    • #748079
      Rory W
      Participant

      If Bewleys had charged more (attracts a cache), had waiter service and better food/ambience we could have had something akin to a continental style coffee house.

      Cafe Bar Deli for Grafton Street!!!

    • #748080
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #748081
      Doug C
      Participant

      We should b concentrating on Bewley’s replacement rather than its many failings and the nostalgia surrounding it.

      what do we want: good coffee, good value, good values?

      from today’s Independent: a new coffee experience?

      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=578273

      a proposal: replace Bewleys with Europe’s largest fairtrade ONLY cafe.

    • #748082
      Sue
      Participant

      “canteen style food”: RoryW, that’s an inspired description of the fare on offer in Bewley’s. And it didn’t come cheap.
      I’d love to see a bookshop there, but given that the rent is likely to be the most expensive on Grafton Street (newly negotitated rents will always cost more) I can’t see even a highly-successful bookshop turning a profit there. Isn’t the Dublin bookshop across the street gone, or doth mine eyes deceive me?

    • #748083
      roskav
      Participant

      Dublin bookshop in a very nice new slot a bit further up the street

    • #748084
      burge_eye
      Participant

      Out of interest, anyone know who owns the building?

      prediction: Bewleys Grafton st. coffee shop to reopen on Ground only. Retail to all floors above.

    • #748085
      Andrew Duffy
      Participant

      Johnny Ronan, aka Treasury Holdings

    • #748086
      alli
      Participant

      What’s the holy grail about Harvey Nicks, especially as it would be such a small branch, it would be just like BTs anyway. Dublin is mad to let Bewley’s go, even if management was crap etc, with the correct management the place should be able to knock starbucks into a cocked hat. This should be a Heritage project, like the Crown in Belfast, listed as a cafe. Of maybe a Conran restaurant (I wonder if he’s looked it over. ) A shop has a completely different relationship with its users thatn a cafe or restaurant. Dublin has become just another High Street UK. Shame

    • #748087
      alli
      Participant

      Very interesting Doug, maybe a Heritage / Fairtrade combo

    • #748088
      Lorcan
      Participant

      I agree actually with you there. it is an institution and so much could be done with it. new, classy managment should be bought in, and stop seving the awful coffee. but i supppose its far to late now.

      What’s the holy grail about Harvey Nicks, especially as it would be such a small branch, it would be just like BTs anyway. Dublin is mad to let Bewley’s go, even if management was crap etc, with the correct management the place should be able to knock starbucks into a cocked hat. This should be a Heritage project, like the Crown in Belfast, listed as a cafe. Of maybe a Conran restaurant (I wonder if he’s looked it over. ) A shop has a completely different relationship with its users thatn a cafe or restaurant. Dublin has become just another High Street UK. Shame

      totally agree.
      Dublin in my opinion needs to try and stop being another ‘UK’city, which it effectively has become, and evolve an actual world capital, with its own originalities. I draw back what i said about Harvey Nicks.

    • #748089
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @John Ronan wrote:

      They will takes those (Harry Clarke) windows over my dead body

      Apparently Campell Catering spent over a million punts renovating the Harry Clarke windows during the last refurbishment and are claiming that as a result they wish to remove them. As the leasehold interest has seriously declined in value over the past 12 months it is probably their only chance to get a serious whack out of the building due to the good supply of retail at Dundrum and the new Red Mall in Blanch.

      Well if they had invested 20,000 in a few Gaggia coffee machines they might still be in business,

      An Taisce V Gorbooth 2004

    • #748090
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Chancers…… fecking chancers…..

    • #748091
      ro_G
      Participant

      cant believe they would get away with taking the Harry Clarke window

    • #748092
      burge_eye
      Participant

      @ro_G wrote:

      cant believe they would get away with taking the Harry Clarke window

      According to the Sunday Times, Johnny says the windows will go “over his dead body” He bought the windows when he bought the building. When you buy a house people can take the carpets and curtains. Can you imagine if they took the windows with them too????

    • #748093
      GrahamH
      Participant

      According to the same article they want them for the soon to be expanded Westmoreland St property.
      How can they be moved, surely they’re protected in situ and that’s the end of it?

      I went in there the other day as a farewell gesture, and sat infront of the windows, They really are very fine, and the frames themselves are lovely, with the brass mechanisms etc.
      The woman at my table (lady of leisure, BT bag, you know the type) was saying that she came in there regularly (don’t you know) and that it was very busy in the last few days.

      One thing that was noticable was mess of the self-service layout, esp the soup counter that holds up the entire queue for all people trying to get either food or just coffee in the place. And €2.40 for a tiny glass of fruit juice?! Welcome to the real world I suppose – but it was more than made up for by the most delicious toffee cake ever; if they stay open for that it’d be worth it 🙂

    • #748094
      L1
      Participant

      I come from dublin, last time I was there I went for a late breakfast (few months ago), as you do, because it is part of being in Dublin.
      Bored my family stupid moaning about what a disaster it was. No it hasn’t been the same since the bizarre nineties makeover, yes the management was abyssmal and efforts to update and keep pace were not working. But, baby, bathwater!
      If a company cannot take a buisness like Bewleys, with established appeal, and all the key sites, and make a sucess of it said company should not be operating at all.
      It was modelled in part on european style cafes, like they still have in Brussels for example. They manage. This is too dismal.

    • #748095
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Well no time wasted,

      A planning application for extensive alterations to the Westmoreland St cafe have been lodged,

      is anyone in a position to elaborate?

    • #748096
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Sorry to be posting back to back all,

      Next Wednesday at 11am will witness a celebration of Bewleys and what it means to Dubliners and blow ins like myself, this celebration will feature a number of celebrities and entertainments and is directed at showing that Bewley’s is an important part of the Dublin experience.

      All support will be gratefully received by the widest coalition of heritage groups and individuals I have ever seen assembled.

      Kicks off at 11am with a full entertainment programme until 1pm all outside Bewley’s Grafton St.

    • #748097
      Dubliner
      Participant

      @Diaspora wrote:

      Sorry to be posting back to back all,

      Next Wednesday at 11am will witness a celebration of Bewleys and what it means to Dubliners and blow ins like myself, this celebration will feature a number of celebrities and entertainments and is directed at showing that Bewley’s is an important part of the Dublin experience.

      All support will be gratefully received by the widest coalition of heritage groups and individuals I have ever seen assembled.

      Kicks off at 11am with a full entertainment programme until 1pm all outside Bewley’s Grafton St.

      Bad Coffee high rents,
      good riddance any chance of an extra large Champion Sports?

    • #748098
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Sinn Fein leads protest to keep Bewleys open
      http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1291899&issue_id=11722

      That’s the kind of headline that will keep the middles classes away…

    • #748099
      Gaudi
      Participant

      Might be nice improvement, so long as they keep the real coal fires!

      We Bewley”s Oriental Cafes Ltd, intend to apply for permission for development consisting of refurbishment, extension and part change of use of the existing hotel and cafe at Bewley”s 10/11/12 Westmoreland Street, 19/20 Fleets Street & 1-5 Prices Lane, Dublin 2 ,which are protected structures. Amendments to include refurbishment / minor alterations to existing hotel rooms and common areas, relocation of reception area and restaurant and new cocktail bar to the ground floor cafe rooms, with new cafe entrance, canopy and additional Street lighting onto Prices Lane, conversion of existing reception at first floor to bedrooms, new accessible ramp and cafe tables on Fleet Street pavement outside existing main entrance, additional infill bedrooms on third and fourth floor roof areas at rear on Prices Lane, minor facade alterations on Prices Lane, Rationalisation and enclosure of existing rooftop ventilation services, removal of existing modern mezzanine level and removal and change of use of existing ground floor front servery area (to Westmoreland Street) from Cafe to retail shop with dedicated link to rear service area on Prices Lane.

    • #748100
      Rory W
      Participant

      “Sinn Fein leads protest to keep Bewleys open”

      Tiochfaidh ar Látte

    • #748101
      Devin
      Participant

      😀

      come to the Save Bewley’s campaign tomorrow from 11am on Grafton St!

    • #748102
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      “Sinn Fein leads protest to keep Bewleys open”

      Tiochfaidh ar Látte

      Well if the Day of the decent Latte arrived at Bewleys it could have a major impact towards its future viability.

      Daithi Doolin is a local Councillor for South East Inner City and his active support is very much welcome, as is the support of the man he replaced Ciaran Cuffe (SF took the Green seat that CC vacated). The Lord Mayor Michael Connaghan and Councillor Oisin Quinn have also been extremely active on this as well.

      The important thing is that Bewleys is retained as Dublin’s premier cafe and that a new management team is brought in to run it in a fashion that incorporates the latest trends in food tastes.

      I hope to see as many of you as possible tomorrow from 11am on and the celebration will continue on into lunch time if anyone wants come down but can’t get time off work.

    • #748103
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I will try to get down I always liked Bewleys it is a great place to get a hit of caffine after being dragged around the shops by she who knows, it would be a shame to see it go. It really is one of the symbols of Dublin like the O’Connell staute for culchies such as me self I am really surprised that Uncle Bertie hasn’t jumped in now that he is a socialist after all.

    • #748104
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I hope to see you there Thomond Park,

      I can assure you that if you do make we’ll have a decent programme of entertainment lined up, it is a celebration after all
      confirmed so far are Ronny Drew and Neil Tobin and a few surprise guests along with our the Lord Mayor and the Bewley’s Theatre company who have pulled out all the stops for this one as they fear for their tenancy in the event of a change of head lessee.

    • #748105
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Very good ‘rally’ if that’s the word, well organised by those involved – never heard so many south Dublin accents in all my loife 🙂 A decent crowd gathered too.
      Who was the chief speaker with the white hat?

    • #748106
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I’m glad you liked it Graham, I thought that Mike the Theatre Director put on a great show considering he only had 4 days to put it together, it attracted a sizeable crowd which was very good considering just how busy we all are these days and the fact that it kicked off in the middle of the mornings worktime. I finally left myself when we ran out of petition sheets around 1.35pm.

      I hope to have more news on Friday and I am happy to say that Phase two will be commencing in our campaign very soon. The one thing that pleasantly surprised me most was the demographic profile of our support, there was no appreciable skew beyond the general demographic of the footfall on the Street.

      We’re not there yet but we’re getting there

    • #748107
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Admitedly I thought the demographic was leaning rather towards the senior end of the scale, then again they were collecting towards the front where I was – how embarrassing. Think everyone, not least the school students, were just trying to get in on a free coffee 🙂
      The idea of a Trust over-seeing such institutions and tailored tax breaks for specific locations are very worthwhile ideas – pity they weren’t thought of 40 years ago.

    • #748108
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I agree Graham it really is a National Trust type situation,
      A well resourced Trust could step in and ensure its survival until a suitable commercial operator was found to take a sub lease with gaurantees provided at National level.

      Being Honest there aren’t too many non-alcohol based tourist attractions in this City.

    • #748109
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Unfortunately that is the case, and I think what is one of the main attractions of Bewley’s.
      Forgot to say earlier, there’s a Nationwide special recorded from Bewley’s tomorrow evening at 7 on RTE 1.

    • #748110
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Yes and the Lord Mayor will be there to roll out details of our 6 month campaign

      Bewleys will not be closing at the end of the month, the lease stipulates forfeiture in the event of the shop being closed for business.

      Phase 2 has commenced

    • #748111
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I think Bewleys needs to be kept but perhaps like the Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast, it could be owned by a trust and leased to an operator. It needs to be saved from Campbell Catering who used to and maybe still do run the cafeteria in UL when I was there and it was terrible…

      ie a grant is no uses as we don’t want them pulling the same thing in 3 years

    • #748112
      mala
      Participant

      What is Harvey Nichols? Some English company?

      Bewley’s used to be fabulous years ago – three-tier plates heaped with mounds of delicious cream cakes, really good coffee, fabulous service, milk from the shop’s own herd of Jersey cows, yummy lentil soup and brown bread, proper tea made with proper tealeaves, courteous, slightly eccentric staff, Mary Cakes, fascinating and chatty literati, shoppers, musicians, country types up for the day…. and, of course, the beautiful windows, the antique Oriental wallpaper, the fabulous Chinese and Turkish and Indian dishes hung on the walls, the polished pink granite tables, the crockery with little green waves and sheaves of wheat custom printed around the edges…

      Then they sold it to Campbells, who immediately moved the tables close together to cram in more people, and slashed the quality of the food. Instead of Bewley’s being a job for life, now it was a place you passed through for a bit in Transition Year or while in college, or while trying to find a good job.

      No wonder the cafes plunged into the ground. But the buildings at least should be listed and saved. And surely not some store or bookshop or anodyne mally thing. Surely we think enough of ourselves to have a good cafe in Grafton Street yet?

    • #748113
      chewy
      Participant

      … sorry if this was already posted.. but when was the building built was it built for Bewleys?

      when someone says Save Bewleys i think of a Coffee Company…. if some said to me save the internal and external fabric of the building on Grafton street which houses Bewleys cafe i’d be a bit more interested…?

    • #748114
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Built in 1911 and designed by A.G.C Millar for Bewley’s
      He also designed the Westmoreland Street and deceased Sth Gt George’s Street

      The windows were designed by Harry Clark in 1928 during a remodelling by McDonnell and Dixon

    • #748115
      SavebewleysCafe
      Participant

      The website committee of Save Bewleys Cafe wish to thank Paul Clerkin for putting us up on the web at such short notice, stress levels are now down by 99%

      Thanks

      Kevin, Kevin & Emer

      http://www.savebewleys.archeire.com 🙂

    • #748116
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I am heartened to say that our campaign is only gaining the requisite momentum now,
      I really had feared that it would start strongly and fade, the width of support has been very encouraging and I will keep you all informed of breaking news as soon as it breaks

      http://www.greenparty.ie/en/news/latest_news/dail_motion_to_save_bewleys

      http://newsfeed.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/story.asp?j=13266288052&p=y3z66z88z96&n=13266288350

      http://www.rte.ie/tv/theden/2004/1124/bewleys.html

      http://www.breakingnews.ie/2004/10/29/story173501.html

      http://www.eire.com/blogarchives/000174.html

    • #748117
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Bewleys are closing on Tuesday from what the Nationwide programme said on Friday, what have you got planned for then? Something like last Wednesday I would hope.

    • #748118
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Thomond Park, the save bewleys cafe campaign will be there on Tuesday with many of the same elements as those you would have seen last Wednesday. We will have new speakers and a more contemporary music feel, our object is that when the RTE footage goes onto reeling in the years in the future that it will say Bewleys has closed for its second time before entering a phase under a third and hopefully this time a very different management team.

      As a group we are only getting organised so you can expect to hear more rather than less over the coming weeks and months. Thanks for your support

      It is amazing that so many people have written Bewleys off, Campbells were about the only people not making money out of their cafes, when you consider the slice of the premium the original cafe added to the ambience of Grafton St, what it has done for the tourist industry etc

      The trick must be to recreate something of the Bewleys that existed prior to the makeover

    • #748119
      GregF
      Participant

      Another little bit of European style life is gone……….boulangerie patisserie et cafe, etc….

    • #748120
      Rory W
      Participant

      @GregF wrote:

      Another little bit of European style life is gone……….boulangerie patisserie et cafe, etc….

      sorry Bewleys was more Granada Motoway Services food than Boulangeri, patisserie et cafe

    • #748121
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Agreed.
      And another thing that particularly annoys me is the continuous references to the ‘marble-topped’ tables of the place. They are anything but marble topped – rather they have cheapo melamine-like tops with a veined-effect on the surfaces.
      Now I fully agree that the marble should be reinstated – God knows its about the only place nowadays the poor stone can be used without looking dated or frumpy.
      I was appalled to find no marble tables in there recently and to feel the MDF underneath the table lip.
      Either have timber or stone, not a cheap substitute.

      Had to laugh at the memories of the cake-tiers on the tables – if old Bewleys does return, they’re something that’ll stay in their grave 🙂

    • #748122
      SavebewleysCafe
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      sorry Bewleys was more Granada Motoway Services food than Boulangeri, patisserie et cafe

      Rory your sense of humour is always well apreciated and well directed, but do you not feel that it was more a case of Granada Knutsford running the Willow Room in Glasgow since the revamp?

      It is the restoration of the true Bewleys pre-make over that we seek.

      We are not Campbell bashing here, but like everything it is horses for courses and Campbells are the best in thew business at facility catering for Colleges and Factories, But Bewleys was not a concept they ever mastered, in our opinion 😉 .

    • #748123
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #748124
      Lotts
      Participant

      What exactly is being proposed by savebewleys – The web site seems very aspirational but has no real proposal behind it. What is the plan that you want public support for? Is it that the national government povide a grant to subsidise this cafe (or all cafes in the area?) City council to do same? Or a grant to maintain the building? Building to be owned by City Council and leased out to higest bidding franchisee? Civic museum to relocate (with coffeee shop?). Reassess what aspects of it should be on protected buildings list ?

      Is the campain just a load of people saying that they wished Bewleys didn’t close (ala all are in favour of motherhood) or is there something I’m missing.

    • #748125
      Rory W
      Participant
      SavebewleysCafe wrote:
      Rory your sense of humour is always well apreciated and well directed, but do you not feel that it was more a case of Granada Knutsford running the Willow Room in Glasgow since the revamp?
      ]

      Bizarrely it was Granada Services Knutsford that I was thinking of when I wrote it!

      I agree that a fully restored Bewleys would be great with proper levels and rooms (could make an excellent venue on the upper floors for the ladies that Lunch in that area instead of Fitzers etc for the BT crowd) open a decent mid price restaurant in the great hall (with waitress service). Restore the Mezzanine area to what it used to be (a place for an excellent breakfast or afternoon tea served by friendly waiting staff) and reopen the basement cafe as the place to hang out for hours reading books.

      All with proper food and proper coffee

      And as one who works in the world of Branding – Campbells should lose the right to the Bewleys name. All they did was asset strip it.

      or

      Bewleys to rename itself as “Bewleys Oriental Cafe – nothing to do with campbell catering and their mass produced cack – but the proper Bewleys, you know the proper one James Joyce went to!” to use the full title 😉

    • #748126
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Ha!
      An interesting point on the site is made about the economic contribution it offers to the city centre – Grafton St doesn’t particularly rely on Bewley’s but one would assume that Westmoreland St does to quite a large degree.
      If you think of the hole created with the absence of the café on this street, you might well ask is there any hope left for this thoroughfare – Westmoreland St without a familar institution, that’s a big people-puller is not a pleasant thought. Hopefully the cafe will be maintained in some form in the hotel.

      I was in Grafton St at 12.30 – there’s crowd control at the doors, goodness knows what it’s like at lunchtime.
      There’s a fantastic atmosphere inside – a staff member was singing Molly Malone and nearly brought the house down at the end. The place is packed to the rafters with well-wishers and souvenir hunters – one woman asked a waitress to hunt out a cup for her to bring home, she came back with a cardboard one 🙂 I had to make do with a couple of sugar sticks. It’s so funny in the shop area at the front, there are aul ones literally raiding the place for bags of coffee and tins etc. The shelves will be empty by this evening.
      It was so full inside I had to stand on the stairs to eat, and balance my coffee on a shelf – so watch out, there’s muffin crumbs all over the floor…
      And best of all the staff were incredibly good-natured – another Bewley’s first for Dublin.

    • #748127
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Graham,

      you are absolutely right on Westmoreland St, beyond Bewleys and Tribunal Kennedy’s what business has been there for ten years or more? The Fleet Room is really a Gem and any proposal to restrict access to it must be taken very seriously.

      http://www.savebewleys.com

      Please forward the online petition to your data base

    • #748128
      trace
      Participant

      Saw Paul Quilligan in his white Bewley’s hard hat fighting the good fight on Sky TV last night.

    • #748129
      Paulines Pens
      Participant

      @Lotts wrote:

      What exactly is being proposed by savebewleys – The web site seems very aspirational but has no real proposal behind it. What is the plan that you want public support for? Is it that the national government povide a grant to subsidise this cafe (or all cafes in the area?) City council to do same? Or a grant to maintain the building? Building to be owned by City Council and leased out to higest bidding franchisee? Civic museum to relocate (with coffeee shop?). Reassess what aspects of it should be on protected buildings list ?

      Is the campain just a load of people saying that they wished Bewleys didn’t close (ala all are in favour of motherhood) or is there something I’m missing.

      I don’t feel there is a need to go down the road of expressing my views on the importance of Bewleys to the Grafton Street area or indeed to Dublin in general. The architectural merit of the interiors and it’s place in the recent history of Dublin are far too important to be lost in the general economic turnover of the high street.
      BUT…
      I must say I agree to a with “Lotts” here. Its disappointing to see an open-ended petition web site where a negative is expressed but no positive proposed. I’m not a fan of this type of discussion, its non-progressive and lends itself to wallowing in sentimentality and some sort of longing for “better times” e.t.c, e.t.c. I would like to sign a petition that proposes practical moves to maintain the integrity of Bewleys, with public backing, in some innovative way so as it’s historical importance e.t.c can be appreciated. If Bewleys (the cafe business itself not the building) cannot exist as a economic entity (as it doesn’t seem to be able to) lets not turn it into a state sponsored theme park. There is an opportunity here to make a proposal which could act as a precedent for the enevitability of further Dublin landmarks coming under the reality of modern economics. I would be a bit worried that a petition like this might not be taken as seriously as it should be and may just be remembered as some sort of architectural historian’s “Diana” moment.

    • #748130
      Sue
      Participant

      trace Saw Paul Quilligan in his white Bewley’s hard hat fighting the good fight on Sky TV last night.

      who’s Paul Quilligan?

    • #748131
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Pauline,

      You are right about Bewleys and the save Bewleys campaigns have a number of professionals putting together a comprehensive business plan and we are also receiving advice from heritage bodies on how similar projects have been managed elsewhere.

      Bewleys can become profitable again, it simply needs a radical reappraisal of its management style and an operator that is not burdened down by a number of other business divisions.

      As soon as the plans are fully finished I will post a synopsys here

      http://www.savebewleys.com

    • #748132
      Paulines Pens
      Participant

      sound, thanking you

    • #748133
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Pauline’s Pens wrote:

      sound, thanking you

      No need for thanks,

      the figures will stand up or they won’t, the essential difference is that Cambpell Group have had since February to plan their exit, we have had two weeks to appraise everything, hardly a level pitch, we also lack Kinman PR to lead the claps for the closing ceremony.

      Tsiochaigh ar Latte

      http://www.savebewleys.com

    • #748134
      burge_eye
      Participant

      what a laughable campaign this is. In 100 years perhaps we’ll have a “save mcdonalds” campaign. After all, they’re on grafton street and serve a pile of crap so why not? Since when was anything on grafton street a tourist attraction?

      Nostalgia: A device that removes the ruts and potholes from memory lane.

      Keep the stained glass, lose the crap coffee

    • #748135
      GregF
      Participant

      You’re right when you say that it’s wrong to get nostalgic about something that never was, but in this case it would be sad to see the last architectural vestiges of a cafe destroyed and gone forever especially when there is still potential to turn it around and make it profitable with good maketing, quality service etc…..which in recent times Bewleys lacked which ran it into the ground in the first place etc….Ye’d hardly wish to see it replaced with a McDonalds!

    • #748136
      Lotts
      Participant

      “the last architectural vestiges of a cafe destroyed”

      But this is a listed building – surely the architecture is safe? Windows too for that matter.

    • #748137
      GregF
      Participant

      @Lotts wrote:

      “the last architectural vestiges of a cafe destroyed”

      But this is a listed building – surely the architecture is safe? Windows too for that matter.

      Lets put it another way …..Would ‘nt it be good however to keep the building as a cafe rather than having it’s next door neighbours moving in and expanding into the premises or maybe some other retail fashion outlet utilising the building as a clothes shop. It has happened aleady recently with banks becoming pubs and in the case of the once Abbey Mooney pub becoming a building society.

    • #748138
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @burge_eye wrote:

      what a laughable campaign this is. In 100 years perhaps we’ll have a “save mcdonalds” campaign. After all, they’re on grafton street and serve a pile of crap so why not? Since when was anything on grafton street a tourist attraction?

      Nostalgia: A device that removes the ruts and potholes from memory lane.

      Keep the stained glass, lose the crap coffee

      Burge Eye,

      The head of the Belfast tourist authority was quoted on todays lunchtime RTE 1 TV news as saying that Bewleys is an important tourist attraction for the entire Island.

      The Crown Bar was shown in all its glory and virtually everyone interviewed drew strong comparison between both The Crown Liquor Salon and Bewleys Oriental Cafe.

      What is the source for your definition of nostalgia? It strikes me as being entirely polemical or even made up.

      Dublin deserves Bewleys serving the latest food trends and a selection of the pre campbell classic Bewley menus.

      Dublin needs Bewleys a lot more than Bewleys needs Dublin, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Coffee division out sourced to Bucharest, with the unique Dublin branding retained.

    • #748139
      Devin
      Participant

      I agree Diaspora. Why is it so many people – not just burgeye – since the start of this thread have wheeled out that tired old line; “the food is crap” “the coffee is crap”? That is not the point. Something can be done about all that under different management. It’s Bewley’s itself that needs to be saved, the Bewley’s ‘ethic’, that ‘certain something’.

      It’s probably been said before but other European cities have managed to keep these cafes open – why can’t we?

      @Sue wrote:

      who’s Paul Quilligan?

      Quilligan Architects. Their office is in a 3 storey Georgian building with some nice plasterwork, on Camden Street beside the Concern building.

    • #748140
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Agreed – it is the institution that is important; ironically the basis of the cafe’s existance, coffee, is irrelevant here.
      Service and product can be tweaked (overhauled more like) fairly easily.

      I’ve been talking to various older people about Bewley’s and they all have stories to tell etc, but notably every problem comes back to Campbells.
      People remember the quality cakes that used to be sold both in the cafes and take away ones, and the quality coffee & service. Admittedly they all say Bewley’s was always expensive, but you were paying for quality.
      But the quality went down the tubes and prices remained the same.

      And I think that’s backed up by what younger people have been saying too, that the place is a rip-off. Not being around when the place was somewhere special, they don’t distingush Bewley’s from any other standard self-service outlet, but are paying far higher prices.

      The older china on display on the Nationwide programme (typical of RTE it was raced through and glossed over as quickly as possible), esp the red-decorated pre-war type is an element that should be reintroduced – as to the practicality I don’t know, but to bring back some individuality is essential – the fact that your’re served some coffees in a standard 2 star hotel catering cup is ridiculous.
      It is the instituition and maintance of cafe-use that is important for Grafton St – for Westmoreland I can see the magical Fleet Room being successfully incorporated into the hotel, while the rest of the place can be altered. That central cafe area was like a hospital canteen.

    • #748141
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Diaspora wrote:

      I really am begining to question the rationale behind the purchase, as I feel the initial yield of 7.43% adequately reflects the ‘protected status’ of the property.

      Given that prime retail yields at the time of the transaction were c 4% it is fair to discount current rental vales by about 40-45% thus giving a rental cost well below the market value.

      You wouldn’t get that type of return from a bank, it is the fools who sold it that I think were mad.

      When are Zara movin in?

    • #748142
      burge_eye
      Participant

      @Diaspora wrote:

      Burge Eye,

      The head of the Belfast tourist authority was quoted on todays lunchtime RTE 1 TV news as saying that Bewleys is an important tourist attraction for the entire Island.

      The Crown Bar was shown in all its glory and virtually everyone interviewed drew strong comparison between both The Crown Liquor Salon and Bewleys Oriental Cafe.

      What is the source for your definition of nostalgia? It strikes me as being entirely polemical or even made up.

      Dublin deserves Bewleys serving the latest food trends and a selection of the pre campbell classic Bewley menus.

      Dublin needs Bewleys a lot more than Bewleys needs Dublin, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Coffee division out sourced to Bucharest, with the unique Dublin branding retained.

      It might be made up, it might be ripped off, it might be polemic, blah blah blah

      ireland.ie doesn’t list Bewleys under cafes
      visitiireland.com doesn’t list it
      Lonelyplanet.com doesn’t list it
      the official northern ireland site doesnt even mention the south!

      The Crown bar is an institution, agreed. Whenever I have friends visiting the north I always take them there. Why? Because it’s atmospheric and a throw back to a bygone age. So is Bewleys. Why is the Crown different? Primarily it’s because it is also a service industry with quality and prices equal and above from any or all bars in it’s vicinity. When friends visit Dublin, Bewleys has never been and never will be on my list of “tourist attractions”. Maybe all my friends are alcoholics, I don’t know. I might take my granny though….

      My point, however polemic, is simple. How many of the bleeding hearts on this page were through the doors of Bewleys in the last 6 months? If it reopens, how many of the same will have been in it 6 months later? There’s a very dangerous precedent being set here whereby any old kip that becomes financially unviable but has any link to the good old days will be clamouring for political and media support to get it back on its feet. How many other cafe retailers will want to take it over with a bewleys sign over their doors?

      We also see on this site the bemoaning of grafton street becoming a Uk high street. That’s progress I’m afraid no matter how galling. The Crown isn’t even in the middle of Belfast as such but people still go to it, search it out. Maybe Bewleys needs to relocate to a cheaper more atmospheric part of Dublin in keeping with its supposed reputation. Use it as a regeneration tool if it’s so great. A Diaspora of latte?

    • #748143
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @burge_eye wrote:

      It might be made up, it might be ripped off, it might be polemic, blah blah blah

      ireland.ie doesn’t list Bewleys under cafes
      visitiireland.com doesn’t list it
      Lonelyplanet.com doesn’t list it
      the official northern ireland site doesnt even mention the south!

      The reference has been removed from the online versions because it is no longer open, The online version of Lonely Planet doesn’t list Hotels, Hostels, Restaurants or Transport Links. Why? Because no-one would buy the books. The other websites are continually updated and the Northern Site doesn’t list Southern attractions because they are in direct competition for the ‘Weekend Break’ segment of the market.

      They did however feel strongly enough to send a spokesman to the Crown Liquor Salon to comment which is a clear indication of their ‘Concern about the closure’

      @burge_eye wrote:

      My point, however polemic, is simple. How many of the bleeding hearts on this page were through the doors of Bewleys in the last 6 months? If it reopens, how many of the same will have been in it 6 months later? There’s a very dangerous precedent being set here whereby any old kip that becomes financially unviable but has any link to the good old days will be clamouring for political and media support to get it back on its feet. How many other cafe retailers will want to take it over with a bewleys sign over their doors?

      This is not just any other kip but is according to the Council of Europe one of the finest cafes in Europe (1990) that is before the extremely poorly executed revamp. The save Bewleys campaign have never called for the cafe to be simply re-opened and operated by Campbells, the important interior will require work to ‘Restore it’ to the standard that prompted the Council of Europe to make such an unequivical statment of fact.

      @burge_eye wrote:

      We also see on this site the bemoaning of grafton street becoming a Uk high street. That’s progress I’m afraid no matter how galling. The Crown isn’t even in the middle of Belfast as such but people still go to it, search it out. Maybe Bewleys needs to relocate to a cheaper more atmospheric part of Dublin in keeping with its supposed reputation. Use it as a regeneration tool if it’s so great. A Diaspora of latte?

      I have no problem with the Globalisation of Dublin shopping trends and I generally compare quality and price in my purchasing decisions, I couldn’t care less if a clothes retailer has their HQ in Ulan Bator. What I do have a problem with is the closure of an iconic cultural institution, the landmark that most people regard as the centre of the Street. It is regarded as the landmark because most have entered the premises and enjoyed the product on offer.

      You cannot judge Bewleys on what has been seen over the past year or so.

    • #748144
      Jack White
      Participant

      So Bewleys is gone that is a pity shame on cambells

    • #748145
      burge_eye
      Participant

      @Diaspora wrote:

      This is not just any other kip but is according to the Council of Europe one of the finest cafes in Europe (1990) that is before the extremely poorly executed revamp. The save Bewleys campaign have never called for the cafe to be simply re-opened and operated by Campbells, the important interior will require work to ‘Restore it’ to the standard that prompted the Council of Europe to make such an unequivical statment of fact.

      You cannot judge Bewleys on what has been seen over the past year or so.

      I hardly think that an award – being judged by few and, therefore, inherently subjective, can be an “unequivical statment of fact” but we quibble over terms. I look forward to receiving your daily coffee updates when Insomnia take it over (Sunday Tribune). Shame Starbucks aren’t interested – they could have spiced the place up with some good ole razzamatazz.

    • #748146
      GregF
      Participant

      Just to remind ye’s but the Crown Bar faced the same fate as Bewleys many years ago. It was saved for Belfast by a group of people who mustered together and rescued it, turning it into the successful Irish Pub tourist attraction that it is today.

    • #748147
      notjim
      Participant

      So here is my story along these lines, I had some people visiting from Singapore and they all wanted to see Bewley’s, heard about the atmosphere, open all night, fully of lively characters, historic, etc, I brought them and they loved the open fires and the windows, but god was the food and organization embarrassing. The staff were always lovely, but the way it was organized was terrible. I used to use Bewley’s quite often, it is between work and my son’s creche, and it was always, always, infuriating.

      The reason Bewley’s didn’t make money was because Cambell’s weren’t happy with a moderate income, they wanted a substancial income and so ended up making a loss. If the city bought it, I am sure it could be run at a profit, just not as great a profit as a clothes shop would make in the same place.

    • #748148
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @notjim wrote:

      So here is my story along these lines, I had some people visiting from Singapore and they all wanted to see Bewley’s, heard about the atmosphere, open all night, fully of lively characters, historic, etc, I brought them and they loved the open fires and the windows, but god was the food and organization embarrassing. The staff were always lovely, but the way it was organized was terrible. I used to use Bewley’s quite often, it is between work and my son’s creche, and it was always, always, infuriating.
      The reason Bewley’s didn’t make money was because Cambell’s weren’t happy with a moderate income, they wanted a substancial income and so ended up making a loss. If the city bought it, I am sure it could be run at a profit, just not as great a profit as a clothes shop would make in the same place.

      Dublin City Councillors have passed motions to preserve Bewley’s unanimously, all those who spoke were unanimous in their support, it was passed without dissent 🙂

    • #748149
      nada
      Participant

      Wasnt Cafebardeli on georges street once a bewleys ?- granted I was never there when it was but from what I’ve heard they kept the interior pretty much the same, even the furniture. The big difference is cafebardeli offer great food and value for money instead of canteen tripe, bad service and worst of all miserable coffee..

    • #748150
      Rory W
      Participant

      @nada wrote:

      Wasnt Cafebardeli on georges street once a bewleys ?- granted I was never there when it was but from what I’ve heard they kept the interior pretty much the same, even the furniture. The big difference is cafebardeli offer great food and value for money instead of canteen tripe, bad service and worst of all miserable coffee..

      It was indeed and it was the oldest of all the Bewleys branches. It shows what can be done if people put their mind to running a decent offering can do in what is still quite a large premises. Its where I would go in town rather than Bewleys for a spot of lunch (plus a pint/glass of wine if the mood takes you!)

    • #748151
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      It was indeed and it was the oldest of all the Bewleys branches. It shows what can be done if people put their mind to running a decent offering can do in what is still quite a large premises. Its where I would go in town rather than Bewleys for a spot of lunch (plus a pint/glass of wine if the mood takes you!)

      Cafe Bar Deli is very good,

      But there is definitely room for a more upmarket Bewleys as well,

      we have a great article in the news section on http://www.savebewleys.com written by Kathleen Barrington of the SBP

      Apparently Bewley’s supply tesco with their ‘Tesco Own Brand’ coffee, it is amazing how much value Campbells got from the facade of no78 Grafton St as a marketing tool.

    • #748152
      burge_eye
      Participant

      I wonder how Mr. Ronan will react to all this. Love to have a look at THAT lease.

    • #748153
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Mr Ronan is not yet in possession of the demise,
      it has 22 years and some months not yet expired
      unless you know something no-one else does

    • #748154
      burge_eye
      Participant

      @Diaspora wrote:

      Mr Ronan is not yet in possession of the demise,
      it has 22 years and some months not yet expired
      unless you know something no-one else does

      NOPE – no insider knowledge – just assumed he would have a say as to the tenants when he bought the building.

    • #748155
      Anonymous
      Participant

      He can seek a tenant covenent of equal standing and enforce a ‘similar use’ clause if he wishes but beyond that it is the leaseholders interest until the lease expires in 2027

    • #748156
      Anonymous
      Participant

      If what you say is true diaspora; campells have a lease that is going down in value faster than the quality of their food. What I can’t understand is why nothing is happening with the building, there has been no rumours in the media of a new shop going in and no planning application for the Grafton St shop to make it a better shop space for other goods.

    • #748157
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The Save Bewleys campaign will be holding another major event on Christmas Eve to mark the closing of Bewleys on Grafton St, I will post further details when I have them but I am confident that this one will be bigger than anything we have staged yet.

      Full details will be on http://www.savebewleys.com and our online petition is growing by the day

    • #748158
      GrahamH
      Participant

      I dread to think what Grafton St on Christmas Eve will be like with that going on, given the impact on an average lunchtime a while back – what are you trying to do to us Diaspora, doesn’t the poor pedestrian suffer enough in this city?! 😉

    • #748159
      Anonymous
      Participant
      Graham Hickey wrote:
      I dread to think what Grafton St on Christmas Eve will be like with that going on, given the impact on an average lunchtime a while back – what are you trying to do to us Diaspora, doesn’t the poor pedestrian suffer enough in this city?! ]

      Having taken your advice on board Graham we are now assembling at 9am and will continue until about lunch time or so, we would very much appreciate everyones support if any of you are like myself stilling looking for the perfect present.

    • #748160
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Bewley’s shop is re-opening again tomorrow at 10am, contrary to repeated assertions that the entire business would be closed by Christmas, the save bewleys campaign has now gathered close to 30,000 signatures, further updates will be issued on the 5th of January

    • #748161
      GrahamH
      Participant

      How did Christmas Eve go?
      Did the changing of times have a little less to do with my ‘advice’ and a bit more to do with a Mr Joe Duffy & Co round the corner? 😉

      Hope you got a good crowd.

    • #748162
      Anonymous
      Participant
      Graham Hickey wrote:
      How did Christmas Eve go?
      Did the changing of times have a little less to do with my ‘advice’ and a bit more to do with a Mr Joe Duffy & Co round the corner? ]

      Christmas Eve went well and another large crowd was attracted and more signatures received,

      Bewleys re-opens for 2005 tomorrow and the committee are still working on the same strategies expecting the same result.

    • #748163
      Anonymous
      Participant

      There are two new articles in the news section on http://www.savebewleys.com

    • #748164
      Anonymous
      Participant

      FX Kelly is to close their excellent store on Grafton St,

      I am going to go in tomorrow to get details but I have to say that I am very unhappy to see this occur, my own impression was the FX Kelly’s was the third longest surviving business (in the same shop) on Grafton St after Weirs and Bewleys. It really gives resonance to Hugh Markey’s (Director of retail at Lisney) comments that rental levels are starting to hurt the diversity of retail uses on the street.

      There are five new news items on http://www.savebewleys.com the campaign have held two very successful meetings so far this January and I will be posting details of a save bewleys event very soon tickets will be priced at 10 euro and include music, poetry and a cheese and wine reception.

    • #748165
      burge_eye
      Participant

      @Diaspora wrote:

      FX Kelly is to close their excellent store on Grafton St,

      I am going to go in tomorrow to get details but I have to say that I am very unhappy to see this occur, my own impression was the FX Kelly’s was the third longest surviving business (in the same shop) on Grafton St after Weirs and Bewleys. It really gives resonance to Hugh Markey’s (Director of retail at Lisney) comments that rental levels are starting to hurt the diversity of retail uses on the street.

      There are five new news items on http://www.savebewleys.com the campaign have held two very successful meetings so far this January and I will be posting details of a save bewleys event very soon tickets will be priced at 10 euro and include music, poetry and a cheese and wine reception.

      FX Kelly have obviously fallen victim to the BT effect, where you can buy the same stuff for the same price and get your €2000 Paul Smith socks at the same time

    • #748166
      Rory W
      Participant

      So what do you make of the news that the owneers of CafeBarDeli aree in negotiations to run a wine bar and restaurant in the Grafton St branch (with a Bewleys shop at the front)?

    • #748167
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      So what do you make of the news that the owneers of CafeBarDeli aree in negotiations to run a wine bar and restaurant in the Grafton St branch (with a Bewleys shop at the front)?

      I am quite a fan of Jay Bourkes previous work particularly The Market Bar which has sailed through a number of very well considered planning applications and Oddessa restaurant. From what I understand the property is solely being marketed (privately) as a cafe with Campbells retaining the critical Zone A space and frontage, this would create some difficulty for any potential occupier who wished to re-brand the premises.

      Speaking personally but second-guessing some of the more influential BOSCA committee members the principal concern that they would have is that they wouldn’t be able to enter the cafe and have a cup of coffee without purchasing other items from the main restaurant menu.

      My own view of a potential solution to the impasse on access/signage would be that Campbells would allow Bourke or any other potential occupier to re-brand the cafe Bewley’s Cafe Bar Deli or Bewley’s Willow Tea Rooms as appropriate and that the use of the name could be used on any of the other former Bewley’s (limited to Mary St, South Great Georges St & Westmoreland St) premises but no other property save for the consent of the Campbell group or successors in title (intellectual property). The remaining intellectual property of the Bewley’s brand would remain with the Campbell Group. The new occupier would then be permitted to change the shop level signage subject to planning consent. Thinking about it without a cafe in the back Campbells are unlikely to able to acheive premium prices for Coffee/Tea & souveniers.

      I am encouraged that at least three serious parties are in the race nearly 2 months after ‘Bewley’s closed for the last time’

      Having said all the above it is necessary for me to clarify that what is written above is not coming from BOSCA but is my own view.

    • #748168
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Details below of a bewleys fundraiser

    • #748169
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Save Bewleys Fundraiser

      Glynis Cassin will be appearing in a Recital “Voices of Ireland” with Harpist Aine Ni Dhuill

      on Sunday 27th February at 8 pm,
      at Airfield House, Upper Kilmacud Road, Dundrum. The Luas stop to Ballaly is very close by

      Tickets €15 can be booked with by e-mailing Diaspora or leaving e-mail details on the petition on http://www.savebewleys.com

    • #748170
      TLM
      Participant

      Cafe Bar set for Bewley’s Grafton Street
      The Campbell Bewley Group is close to completing a deal with a restaurant and pub chain that would see the reopening of the Bewley’s Grafton Street outlet as a new cafe bar.

      Anyone know who is behind this? Is it the Cafe Bar Deli as people had thought?

    • #748171
      Lotts
      Participant

      Cafe bar deli were named in an exclusive in ” the Dubliner “

    • #748172
      Rory W
      Participant

      @Lotts wrote:

      Cafe bar deli were named in an exclusive in ” the Dubliner “

      And the Times Today as putting pen to paper, but named on the 17th Jan (as per my email) as in discussions

    • #748173
      Lotts
      Participant

      My quotes were misplaced, should be
      Cafe bar deli were named in “an exclusive” in the Dubliner

    • #748174
      notjim
      Participant

      iisn’t it amazing how cambells have brought the same cack-handedness to this as they brought to running the cafe in the first place, a ton a bad publicity, everyone on their backs over their plans for westmoreland street and grafton st going to stay a cafe after all. idiots.

    • #748175
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @notjim wrote:

      iisn’t it amazing how cambells have brought the same cack-handedness to this as they brought to running the cafe in the first place, a ton a bad publicity, everyone on their backs over their plans for westmoreland street and grafton st going to stay a cafe after all. idiots.

      And they even have adverts on this page, in fairness to Campbells they did signal in February 2004 that there were problems in the business, they also had the decency to allow a decent period for a new operator to take over the business. The grafton St situation really shows that it is necessary to really cause a fuss to get anything saved in this country.

      Westmoreland St has some fatal flaws that may render the entire application defeated such as toying with the Fleet Room which is arguably Dublins best Edwardian interior and looking for yet another watering hole in an area that is deficient in diversity of use as it is.

      I think the Times were well informed as of January but nothing has to my knowledge been signed yet, as many architects have experienced many leasehold assignments can fall out of bed after the eleventh hour. So when it is signed I will celebrate but not a second before. Good luck to all concerned there are millions of euros left in the Bewleys gig for all concerned if handled correctly

    • #748176
      Anonymous
      Participant
    • #748177
      JPD
      Participant

      Was the story in yesterdays Irish Times that Bewleys is going to become an Ann Summers an April Fools joke?

      Does anyone know who is going to reopen Bewleys or when it is going to be revamped into another shop?

    • #748178
      kefu
      Participant

      Well Bewleys on Grafton Street is definitely going to be a Cafe Bar Deli – because it already says on the menus in Ranelagh and George’s Street: ‘Cafe Bar Deli – Grafton Street – opening April 2005.’

    • #748179
      JPD
      Participant

      Thanks for that Kefu there have been a lot of rumours in the press but I’ve not seen anything as definite as that from any other source. I like the cafebardeli in Georges Street (never been to the one in ranelagh)

    • #748180
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Bewleys in Grafton St will in fact be re-opening very soon, look out for Joe Humphries in Todays Irish Times and more announcements to follow. Against all the odds a result has been delivered, only ABP to preserve the Fleet room and diversity of use within the ACA and it will have been a job well done.

    • #748181
      kefu
      Participant

      Cafe Bar Deli is the next best thing to Bewley’s going back in.
      It’s one of the only places in Dublin where two people can quickly go and get something to eat and come out with change from €30. Both George’s Street and Ranelagh are always packed as a result.
      What about Westmoreland St, Diaspora. Any word on that.

    • #748182
      notjim
      Participant

      i’d have to argue kefu, i like the cafe bar deli a lot, but would of course prefer if bewleys was a place you could also go for a coffee and a sticky bun.

    • #748183
      urbanisto
      Participant

      I think its important to move with the times. CBD is definately the best option for this site – maintaining the restuarant use and the style of Bewleys.
      I think that the Save B Campaign has probably been moderately sucessful in at least getting the issue raised and forcing parties to properly consider what to do with the premises, even if it hasnt been successful in keeping Bewleys open.

    • #748184
      notjim
      Participant

      i’d have to argue kefu, i like the cafe bar deli a lot, but would of course prefer if bewleys was a place you could also go for a coffee and a sticky bun.

    • #748185
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @notjim wrote:

      i’d have to argue kefu, i like the cafe bar deli a lot, but would of course prefer if bewleys was a place you could also go for a coffee and a sticky bun.

      I totally agree the utopian solution would have been to re-introduce a Bewleys ethic to the premises operated as Campbells at Bewleys since the 1980’s. Rumour has it that Cafe Bar Deli will be attempting to recreate as much of the Bewleys as possible for much of the premises whilst running a Cafe Bar Deli operation in other sections of the building. Given the scale of the premises I very much doubt if Cafe Bar Deli could fill a premises that size purely as a Cafe Bar Deli.

      Either way I would be very surprised if the savvy business people behind their successful chain will make such a pigs ear of it as Campbells managed to do.

    • #748186
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @StephenC wrote:

      I think that the Save B Campaign has probably been moderately sucessful in at least getting the issue raised and forcing parties to properly consider what to do with the premises, even if it hasnt been successful in keeping Bewleys open.

      I totally disagree, Bewleys ‘closed for the last time on November 30th’ there was even ca nationwide special on its ‘demise’ at that time property supplements were descibing ‘Bewleys as the greatest retail opportunity for years on Grafton St’

      I do believe that in the context of a bookshop being the desired outcome on this site around the time the save bewleys campaign commenced that those involved can say job well done. Grafton St still has a building with the name Bewleys on the front that allows you to have a cup of coffee in a timeless atmosphere without the compulsion to buy a meal. What more could you want if you wanted Bewleys preserved?

    • #748187
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      at least the food will be edible now

    • #748188
      Anonymous
      Participant

      As I said above Bewleys has not been Bewleys since the Campbells take-over, CBD@Bewleys at the heart of the CBD will be good from a cullinary perspective

    • #748189
      JPD
      Participant

      That is good news, does anyone have a date for the re-opening?

      I can remember many very late nights / early mornings spent in Bewleys having breakfast after a night on the rip it would be good if Cafe Bar do a hot deli like was done in the early 90’s

    • #748190
      Anonymous
      Participant

      http://www.rte.ie/business/2005/0414/fruitfield.html

      Bewley’s & Jacob Fruitfield in strategic deal

      April 14, 2005 16:13
      Bewley’s and Jacob Fruitfield have agreed a strategic partnership whereby Jacob Fruitfield will licence the Bewley brand for use on food and beverage products in the Irish grocery retail sector.

      Under the terms of the deal, all Bewley’s branded products – including tea, coffee, biscuits, confectionery and cakes – will be marketed, sold and distributed by the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group.

      In a statement, the two companies said the agreement will drive increased sales across all of Bewley’s branded product lines and also yields the possibility of further new Bewley’s products being introduced into the retail market in the future.

      Annual sales of Bewley products exceed €10m, a significant addition to the current €105m annual sales of the Jacob Fruitfield group. Brands owned by the Jacob Fruitfield group include Chef, Scots Clann, Silvermints, Jacob’s biscuits and Fruitfield jams.

      ‘We strongly believe that local Irish food and drink brands can win in the battle against imported multinational products, and there are few Irish brands with such a heritage and goodwill as Bewley’s,’ commented Michael Carey, CEO of the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group.

      Ends

    • #748191
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I just saw on tonights RTE 9 o’c news that Bewleys is to reopen next month under new management. So well done to all involved in trying to reopen the café. 🙂

    • #748192
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Yes – I passed Orla O’Donnell shooting the report at 4.30 🙂

      Well done to all involved for their dedication and the amount of time they clearly devoted to the campaign.
      Can’t wait to see the ‘new look’ – though hopefully not too new!

      What exactly is the Bewley’s Group’s role in this now – RTÉ say that “The new operation will be executively managed on behalf of Bewley’s” by the Café Deli Bar people. Is it just the name that’s franchised out or what?

    • #748193
      GregF
      Participant

      Saw too on the paper that Mother Redcaps will be facing the demolition balls soon after it was sold for 11 million euro. Appartments are planned. Pity, as it has to be one of the last old survivng buildings in the area off High Street. An Taisce are very quiet about it too with it’s Tailors Hall HQ just around the corner. This whole area was once a surface level car park after all its historical building stock was demolished for road widening, aka dual carriageway. It has witnessed rejuvenation in the past few years but pity the new developments comprise of a 6 storey mock Dutch gable stye appartment block which looks rediculous. Gas too that the article in the Irish Times Property section describes Mother Redcaps as being in the historic part of Dublin. Its not that historic if all its old building stock is demolished and lost forever.

    • #748194
      Punchbowl
      Participant

      Very dissapointed at the destruction of Mother Redcaps. It’s a pretty building, if only of little historical interest. I think people refer to the medievel nature of the streets in that area more so than the buildings when they say ‘ Historical ‘ , but I have to say that what’s there should be retained.
      On the planning for Mothers there is a mention of a protected structure. I wonder what part of the complex it’s refering to.. The interior is lovely too.

    • #748195
      Devin
      Participant

      Greg, An Taisce made a Dublin City Council submission and were one of 3 parties to appeal to An Bord Pleanala against the Mother Redcaps plans. The An Taisce appeal was made on the basis of scale and impact of the new development on the character and setting of the Tailors’ Hall, a protected structure. DCC Ref. 1606/04; ABP Ref. PL 29S.208027. The appeal details can be seen here (put the last six digits of the ABP Ref. into the box) :

      http://www.pleanala.ie/numeric/indexnum.html

      @GregF wrote:

      There was a fine building that stood on High Street just a few metres down from Tailors Hall, An Taisce’s HQ. It was the former AIB Bank (beside MRCB paints) and dates from Victorian or Edwardian times. I’m sure it had a fine interior too and it had survived the Corpo’s inane road widening schemes of the past.
      I was very saddened to see at Christmas that it had been gutted with only the facade remaining. I suppose it will be transformed into appartments or offices. I did’nt read or hear any objections from An Taisce!

      Just since we’re talking about this area, the bank building you refer to in this post from a while back was a originally 4-bay mid-Victorian building. 2 bays were added on the west side in the early 20th century, to match the rest of the facade. In the redevelopment, only the interior behind these 2 bays was demolished, which was not of any merit. The interior of the original 4-bay building survives.

    • #748196
      GrahamH
      Participant

      A pity about Mother Redcaps, albeit not particularly remarkable – a quaint little building. What’s the interior like – I’ve heard it described as ‘old’ but does that mean 1950s wainscotting or 1850s elaborateness?!

      Agreed about the historic Dutch Billies dating from oooh, considering the fenestration, brickwork and decorative features – 1997? 🙂
      Could something a little more inventive not have been conjured up? Although saying that, the gables I suppose are quite a fun reference to the history of the area – better than Zoesque flat parapets anyway…

    • #748197
      Devin
      Participant

      Yeah they’re nice-ish buildings (M Redcap’s & the one beside it), but when there’s a high density scheme with a new pedestrian street proposed, arguing for relatively modest buildings can go against you. People seem attached to Mother Redcap’s – not least An T; it’s our local 🙂 – but it’s only been there since 1988. Before that, it was a shirt factory. There’s nothing of interest inside.

      The protected structure is a bit of the City Wall at the back of the site.

      Too right about the terrible ’80s/’90s buildings in the area. The buildings on High Street are just unspeakably bad….I think the worst urban buildings anywhere in the country….

    • #748198
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @www.savebewleys.com wrote:

      April 30 2005 : High Court injunction by owner of Granfton St. building

      A court injunction was obtained by John Ronan, owner of the building that houses Bewley’s cafe on Grafton St. restaining the new management company from carrying out futher work on the premises, a listed building. The case will come before the High Court next week.

      April 30 2005 : Re-opening of Bewley’s Cafe on Grafton Street

      We warmly welcome the re-opening of Bewleys Café on Grafton Street in May 2005 for the people of Dublin and for our many supporters. We are mindful of the fact that last November at the time of its closure, the projected future for Bewleys was to be that of yet another fashion store, in the building where this unique feature of our city’s heritage has played host to generations of Irish people and tourists alike. We are cognizant of the fact that Bewley’s is a people’s cafe and that although it is aesthetically a truly beautiful and distinctive building, it has always had a policy of social inclusion. Indeed this was a significant feature of its charm: all ages and social classes were welcome in the Bewley’s cafes. We have had several meetings with the new management and they have assured us that this policy will continue.

      April 30 2005 : Bewley’s Westmoreland Street

      Our campaign to protect and restore the Westmoreland Street branch, and in particular the Fleet Room, continues. We are currently awaiting a decision by An Bord Pleanala following the appeal lodged by ourselves and other groups against the Planning Application made by the present leaseholder. The Fleet Room is the most historic feature of the Bewley’s Cafes. If the legislation protecting the special historic, social and cultural interests of both of these protected structures is not enforced by Dublin City Council Planning Authority we could find ourselves in other similar situations in the future.

      April 30 2005 : Coffee Morning

      Our volunteer based campaign has incurred costs and will require funding for the appeal to An Bord Pleanala and if this is not successful, to the High Court. To this end we are organising a Coffee Morning at the Mansion House, at the invitation of Councillor Michael Conaghan, the Lord Mayer of Dublin and chairperson of our campaign.You are cordially invited to attend this event, which will take place on Saturday, May 14th from 11 am to 1pm. Minimum donation for coffee and a bun will be 3 Euro and we trust that whoever can afford it will contribute what they can.We have been greatly encouraged by the many signatures and messages of support that we have received from thousands of people who are rightly concerned at the threatened erosion of such a central and unique feature of the heritage of our capital city. We are embarking on a meeting with the National Trust of Northern Ireland to discuss the urgent setting up of a similar mechanism in this part of the island to ensure the protection of cherished elements of our heritage such as Bewley’s. Heritage and commerce do not have to be mutually exclusive and indeed many people appreciate the intrinsic value of our culture and heritage as well as discerning its wider commercial potential. We hope that this initiative will be a way of harnessing and channelling that energy in a positive direction. Thank you for your Support!”Many stones can form an arch,singly none”

      Always one to ensure that he gets his day in Court 🙂

    • #748199
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Any news from the 4 Courts?

    • #748200
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @press release wrote:

      Press Release
      On behalf of Save Bewley’s Cafes Campaign
      5th May 2005

      The Lord Mayor of Dublin on behalf of the Save Bewley’s Cafes Campaign is delighted with the decision of Miss Justice Carroll today at the High Court refusing to grant the injunction sought by Treasury Holdings/Ickendel against Campbell Bewley Group to stop work from proceeding at the Grafton Street café.
      If such an injunction had been granted, it would have prevented the opening of the café on May 17th and would have jeopardised the entire project.

      In his final submission, Mr. Hanratty S.C. for CBC said “The proceedings were not motivated by any interest in the heritage of the property but were brought to put pressure on the defendant to give up the lease”. It was made known in court that Treasury Holdings/Ickendel had been prepared to pay 6 million euros to acquire the lease.

      The Save Bewley’s Cafes Campaign warmly welcomes the imminent reopening of Bewley’s on Grafton Street. We have held several meetings with the new management team and they have assured us that they intend to restore the café in a manner consistent with the traditional café prior to restorations of the late 1990s. They have also given an undertaking that the unique ethos of Bewley’s with its principals of social inclusion, welcoming people of all ages and social classes, will be maintained.

      Our campaign to restore the Westmoreland Street branch of Bewley’s continues. We have lodged an extensive appeal with An Bord Pleanala. If the legislation promulgated in the Planning and Development Act 2000 protecting the “special historic, social and cultural interests” of both of these protected structures is not implemented and indeed strengthened by Dublin City Council we could find ourselves in a similar situation in the future. We have triggered a mechanism with the City Council to ensure that the above special interests of the Bewley’s Cafes are protected. This provision comes before Dublin City Council on Monday May 9th 2005.

      Councillor Michael Conaghan
      Lord Mayor of Dublin

      Entirely consistent with previous works sanctioned under the same lease it would appear

    • #748201
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Richards wrote:

      Sad Day.There goes another Dublin institution. Some bland multiple chain will no doubt take up position in Bewleys Grafton Street. This street is now going to be truly like any other British High Street.
      Should the Government (or Dublincity Council) buy the two Bewleys Cafes and lease or develop them as a going concern. While I dont believe that it is the job of the state to aid any particular business, some kind of incentive should be made to try and save this Dublin institution. I certainly dont want to see Starbucks take this prime city centre location. In my opinion Bewleys could be one of Europes great cafes.

      http://www.bewleyscafe.com

      Any Thoughts?

    • #748202
      Rory W
      Participant

      Looks great – look forward to eating in there

    • #748203
      wrafter
      Participant

      Few more details.

      Cafe Bar Deli opens officially at 5pm on Tuesday May 24th. Here’s the section of the CBD site specifically related to this – opening times are posted thereon: http://www.cafebardeli.ie/graftonstreet_index.html

      Check out how many seats they say CBD will have.

      Soon after a fish restaurant will also be placed within the building, see here: http://www.mackerel.ie

      A Breakfast at Bewleys concept is underway too – see here: http://www.bewleysbreakfast.com and/or http://www.dublinbreakfast.com

      And when in the Bewleys Cafe site as listed above in previous post, see http://www.bewleyscafe.com/mezzanine.html for details on coffees and food-to-go etc.

      Opening date and opening time herein also listed.

      (I hear they’re putting a coffee roaster in too – the only one in a retail outlet in Ireland.)(Another domain registered for this business is http://www.bewleysgraftonstreet.com/)

      One thing not noted above is that CBD is also in Cork, and Sligo, not just in three Dublin locations. I hear more to come before year’s end. See here for Cork http://www.cafebardeli.ie/cork_index.html and here for Sligo: http://www.cafebardeli.ie/sligo_index.html

    • #748204
      Richards
      Participant

      I wish them Luck!

    • #748205
      Anonymous
      Participant

      A good result for Dublin

    • #748206
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Bewleys has re-opened,

      Better than ever following a 2m euro investment in a sensitive restoration programme undertaken by the Cafe Bar Deli group, the menu befits the quality of the surroundings and service is excellent. All in all Bewleys on Grafton St is probably in better shape than at any time over the past 50 years.

    • #748207
      Jack White
      Participant

      Does anyone know what they did with the front of the shop, has the front been restored to the original?

    • #748208
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The front of Bewley’s has indeed been changed significantly, the shop counter on the right has been taken out and replaced by a very tasteful smaller counter that sells a large variety of specialist coffees from the Bewleys range and there is also a range of coffees roasted on the premises by a very attractive roaster which sits in the window.

      The counter on the left has been moved back significantly and is in use as a coffee bar, the effect of both has been to eliminate much of the clutter that previously existed.

      The staircase on the the left of the main room has been removed and the one to the mezzanine has changed position, the effect has been to open up the room very well.

      The doors to Johnstons Court have re-opened providing additional access which will be of benefit to smokers and should prevent crowds gathering to the front of the shop.

      The works have not been completed as yet but if it continues as they have been going it will be the top spot in no time.

    • #748209
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @RTE Interactive wrote:

      http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0530/bewleys.html

      Grafton Street favourite to re-open

      30 May 2005 11:16
      Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street in Dublin is due to re-open today following a six month closure.

      The restaurant, along with its sister cafe on Westmoreland Street, closed its doors in November last year due to financial difficulties.

      The closure of Bewley’s prompted a public campaign to save the famous Grafton Street café, which first opened in 1927.

      The new operation will be executively managed on behalf of Bewley’s by the owners of Sherland Entertainments, Jay Bourke and Eoin Foyle.

      Good to see that they feel confident enough to announce they are on top of Bewley’s after only 6 days of trading. 🙂

    • #748210
      Sue
      Participant

      SO what the hell was all the fuss about…. one coffee shop replaces another, and gets lots of free publicity in the process. No more than the independence of Ireland in 1922, when the postboxes changed from red to green, nothing of significance has happened her. One crowd of coffee-selling capitalists has replaced another, and suckered a lot of people into giving them business in the process.

    • #748211
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Bewley’s has retained its use – though I hear it is no longer possible to get a fry-up in any of the new establishments 😮

    • #748212
      Jack White
      Participant

      I agree Beweleys without toast and rashers isn’t really Beweleys. Where is all this political correctness taking us what will be next a fat tax?

    • #748213
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I am very happy with the decision of An Bord Pleanala re 10-12 Westmoreland St

      http://www.pleanala.ie/bewleysa.html

      I think that this interior is best served in its present use and it was a well considered decision to protect it from potentially very drunk people, beer I can manage but 2 cosmopolitans later I’m anyones. I also have a vague recollection of a Welsh rugby supporter who after Wales defeated Ireland in Landsdown Road in early 1984 drank himself silly, then attempted to imitate Tarzan in the Shelboune Bar destroying a very impressive chandalier in the process.

      Dermott Kelly’s (senior) inspectors is probably the best researched planning document I have ever read and for anyone with an interest in Heritage its contents should be closely examined.

      The Board direction is extremely concise and to the point and its clarity is refreshing.

      I am feeling extremely vindicated at this time, we got a result!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • #748214
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Phew! What a comprehensive report! 😮

      A great outcome indeed – particularly I find the decision regarding the proposed conversion to seperate retail use on Westmoreland St. Perhaps one could expect the rejection of the Fleet Room conversion proposal, but the Westmoreland St retail outlet concept looked borderline, as turned out in the differing professional opinions stated in the planning process.
      Thankfully the proposal was rejected:

      “It is not accepted as stated in the Planning Report that the proposed retail use onto Westmoreland Street should be supported as “the original intended use of the buildings at ground floor level”, by reason that the long established Bewley’s Oriental Café use on Westmoreland Street is of significant cultural and historic and social interest, and as Bewley’s Café, as stated in the first party submissions, included a retail element to the Café at the Westmoreland Street frontage. The statement in the Planning Report that “With regard to the objections to the loss of a café in the area, the rear part of the site is proposed to be retained in such a use”, does not in my opinion acknowledge the importance of the long established access to the Fleet Room, Middle Room and Garden Room interiors of Bewley’s Café directly off the major thoroughfare Westmoreland Street which the proposed development would remove by blocking access through the proposed retail unit, and from a business viewpoint it is considered that the ‘footfall’ a Price’s Lane would not match that on Westmoreland Street.

      …it is of paramount importance that Bewley’s Café remains as a café with access from Westmoreland Street and also noting that the Scheme for the designated Area of Special Planning Control referred to ‘the streets’ role as the (principle) thoroughfare of the city” which Westmoreland Street undoubtedly is in association with O’Connell Street…”

      The other proposal to amend the Dev Plan to include an acknowledgement of the importance of certain building uses is also welcome.

    • #748215
      Anonymous
      Participant

      The proposal has from a well informed source been in operation in Paris and New York for 75 years where it is considered to be a very valuable tool in protecting important cultural establishments. It is worth noting that the Empire State Building was built on the site of the former Waldorf- Astoria hotel which was a terrible loss to the cultural fabric of New York. I can’t see the designation being used on a very large scale but certainly if it were in place important cultural institutions such as the ‘Olympia’ ‘Gaiety’ ‘Shelbourne’ ‘Wynnes’ ‘Gresham’ and a number of the better Victorian pubs would be secured in the design for which the buildings were designed for.

    • #748216
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Does anyone know if the “SaveBewleys.com” website is still in use or being maintained. I looked at the petition on the site today, and well, it was pretty crazy. Best have a look yourselves. As well as that no referance is made to the “cocktail bar” proposal being turned down for Westmoreland St. nor is the sale of the contense of that cafe mentioned.

    • #748217
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @crestfield wrote:

      Does anyone know if the “SaveBewleys.com” website is still in use or being maintained.

      The savebewleys campaign is suspended and will only re-form should any planning application be made on either of the two premises to the best of my knoweledge. The web site was designed and hosted by desire media who were very professional in delivering a top spec website on a very short timeframe. In addition to delivery the website desire media also removed a lot of generically generated and or targetted spam which was extremely offensive at times and was placed onto the online petition at very regular and frequent occaisions, no payment was ever sought for these additional services.

      The website has not been updated since May of this year for unknown reasons but as a former committee member I wish to thank everyone who supported us. I further wish to say that neither Bewleys would have survived as a functioning cafe if the outgoing Lord Mayor of Dublin Ald Michael Connaghan had not put his political reputation on the line.

      Once he did put his reputataion and his considerable energy into the campaign a broad coalition of experienced conservationists and enthusiastic interested parties met on average twice a week for a 7 month period, the technical assistance of An Taisce was crucial to the decision reached by An Bord Pleanala as was senior inspector Dermot Kelly’s flawless planners report.

      The website will I expect be taken down once consent is received from the majority of the former committee; it is worth noting that this group may potentially re-activate should the need arise.

      Besides the securing of both cafes the new protections afforded to the use relating to buildings with a particular social importance that derive much if not most of their quality from providing that use was the biggest victory.

      Thanks to Cllr Oisin Quinn for drafting this motion and to the entire elected group of councillors for allowing it to be adopted without dissent or ammendment you have all served Dublin well.

    • #748218
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Emer Burton wrote:

      Protection of use of listed buildings enshrined in Dublin City Development
      Plan

      Dublin City Council tonight made an important change to the Dublin City
      Development Plan to respond to heritage questions thrown up by the closure
      of Bewley’s cafes.

      As a result of the motion proposed by Councillor Oisin Quinn (Labour) and
      seconded by former Lord Mayor Councillor Michael Conaghan, the Development
      Plan now protects a building not just for it’s physical structure but also
      “where the use is considered to be an intrinsic aspect of the special
      social, cultural/artistic interest of those premises”.

      Councillor Michael Conaghan commended the tireless work of the Save Bewley’s
      Cafes Campaign in seeking solutions to save the cafes in Grafton and
      Westmoreland Streets and in particular its appeal victory at An Bord
      Pleanala which prevented the café in Westmoreland Street from being
      converted into a hotel lobby to serve the Temple Bar public.

      The change was supported by An Taisce and was welcomed by the City Manager
      who recommended it to the City Council as a new policy which “will have a
      positive effect on the protection of the city’s heritage”.

      Minister for the Environment Dick Roche T.D. was criticised by Councellor
      Quinn for not introducing National Trust legislation in line with best
      practise in the rest of the EU.

      Damian Cassidy on behalf of the Save Bewley’s Cafes Campaign welcomed the
      variation to the Plan, particularly as it was passed during Heritage Week.

      For further information please contact
      Councillor Michael Conaghan 086 175 3747

      That should secure the Gresham, Olympia, Gaeity, Shelbourne, Doheny’s and ensure the survival of Bewleys into perpetuity

    • #748219
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      But has Bewley’s “really” been saved. All that has been saved in reality is the use of premises. Bewley’s it ain’t.

    • #748220
      Anonymous
      Participant

      It hasn’t really been Bewleys since Campbells did a hatchet job on it; it is however a good representation of a contemporary interpretation of a historical cafe. The Bewley family being innovative; funds permitting probably would not have operated the cafe all that differently.

      Worst case scenario was comparison retailing using legal interpretation of the regulations to change the space as much as they were able to do. Bottom line the City has access all areas and can sit and eat or drink whichever the desired case may be.

    • #748221
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Former Bewleys Cafe, Fleet Street Hotel, Bars & Offices, Fleet Street, Westmoreland Street and Prices Lane, Temple Bar
      Dublin 2

      By Tender ON FRIDAY 26TH MAY 2006 AT 12 NOON

      Location
      The property occupies a prime trading location with extensive frontages to Westmoreland Street, Fleet Street and Price’s Lane. Located in the heart of Dublin’s City Centre and at the “Gateway” to Temple Bar, this substantial property is within easy walking distance of O’Connell Street, Trinity College, Grafton Street, and the International Financial Services Centre.

      Temple Bar, which is the “Left Bank” of Dublin, is now home to a population of over 2,500 residents, 500 businesses and over 50 cultural organisations. It boasts a huge variety and choice of restaurants, bars, cafés, hotels and shops and also includes galleries and cultural attractions. Temple Bar attracts more than 500,000 weekly visitors, most of whom use Fleet Street as their main route.

      Description
      The subject premises comprise a substantial block of property which includes period landmark buildings on Westmoreland Street, Fleet Street and Price’s Lane. The buildings occupy a total site of approximately 0.13 HA (0.32 acres). Over the years the various buildings have been integrated and now interconnect at various levels. The total gross internal floor area is approximately 5,530 sq. m (59,525 sq. ft).

      There are four main elements to the property as follows:

      Fleet Street Hotel, 19/20 Fleet Street

      Accessed from Fleet Street, this comprises 71 en suite bedrooms of three star standard over first, second, third and fourth floors with the majority of rooms having air conditioning. At present the guests use part of the Fleet Room on the ground floor for breakfasts with a mezzanine level between ground and first floor used for staff facilities.

      Former Bewley’s Café, 11/12 Westmoreland Street

      This comprises an extensive ground floor and mezzanine with excellent frontage to Westmoreland Street of approximately 12m. The accommodation is arranged in a number of areas which include the front Café, the Fleet Room, the Middle Room, the Garden Room, kitchen and service areas. These extend to approximately 950 sq m (10,225 sq ft) on the ground floor, 74 sq m (796 sq ft) on the mezzanine, with customer toilets at basement level.

      O’Sullivans Pub and The Bridge Bar, 10-12 Westmoreland Street

      These are arranged on ground floor and basement and have two separate entrances from Westmoreland Street. The Bridge Bar is located at basement level whilst O’Sullivans is a ground floor pub accessed from Westmoreland Street. There is an internal staircase which connects both levels.

      This accommodation is fully fitted out and operational and has its own customer toilets, kitchen, cellar, and storage areas.

      O’Sullivans extends to approximately 80 sq m (860 sq ft) on ground floor whilst the Bridge Bar has approximately 950 sq m (10,225 sq ft) at basement level.

      School and Offices, 10-12 Westmoreland Street

      This accommodation is occupied by the Dublin School of English under various leases and is on first, second, third and fourth floors over the Café and O’Sullivans. It has a separate access from Westmoreland Street. The net floor area extends to approximately 596 sq m (6,415 sq ft).

      Services
      We understand all mains services are available to the property.

      Title
      The property is substantially freehold however number 10 Westmoreland Street is held under a 25 year lease from 1 December 1994, at a current rent of €170,000 per annum. This rent is subject to 5 year reviews with the next review in December 2009.

      The upper floors of 10/12 Westmoreland Street are let to the Dublin School of English under various leases and are currently producing a rent of €46,000 per annum. A number of these leases have expired and it is expected the above rental income will increase once the terms of these new leases have been agreed.

      Guide excess €25m

    • #748222
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Is there any news on the Bewleys tender result?

      I know it closed on May 26th and I would be grateful if anyone could post any press reports that I have missed.

    • #748223
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I read in the Sindo that John Ronan has lodged papers in the Commercial Court seeking the forfeiture of the Bewleys lease. Does anyone know the grounds he is claiming?

    • #748224
      alonso
      Participant

      something to do with internal works which were done outside the remit of the lease agreement
      http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/…ive=10/01/2007

    • #748225
      jdivision
      Participant

      It’s a repeat of a story that was in The Sunday Business Post

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