Cineworld plans massive 250-seat restaurant for Parnell Street basement
A 250-seat restaurant is being planned for one of the busiest cinemas in Ireland and the UK, the Cineworld complex on Dublin's Parnell Street.
UK group Wings International is planning to open the buffet-style restaurant in what would mark its first outlet in Ireland. It has a small number of outlets in England and is family-owned.
Cineworld has told Dublin City Council that the basement of the complex on Parnell Street has been vacant for years, and that a previously planned project that was to be modelled around the London Dungeon experience never materialised. It was to be called Nightmare Realm.
Cineworld management told the council that the cinema, which has 17 screens and an Imax, is one of the five busiest cinemas in Ireland and the UK.
"The nature of the unit's basement location and limited frontage presence means it is highly unlikely to be used as a retail unit," Cineworld added in its planning application.
"The proposal will see the use of a vacant, unused, city centre space for a form of development that accords with prevailing planning policy."
Cineworld confirmed it is in negotiations with a restaurant operator to lease the unit. The Herald has confirmed that the restaurant operator is Wings International.
Family market-focused Wings International offers a range of cuisines, including Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian and Japanese.
It also offers "hugely discounted rates for children under 150cm, and further reductions for children under 90cm", according to its website.
Cineworld owns cinemas across Europe as well as in Israel. Its premises on Parnell Street is its only venue in Ireland. In the UK and Ireland, it recorded just under 51 million admissions last year, and a total of 93.6 million across the group's operations.
Its total revenue was £705.8m (€873m) and it made a pre-tax profit of £99.6m (€123.2m).
It said its box office performance was helped last year by a strong slate of movies including the James Bond film Spectre as well as Star Wars: The Force Awakens.