herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Re-opening of Bewley's cafe delayed by up to six months

Bewleys Grafton Street
Bewleys Grafton Street

Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street will re-open next spring - around six months later than planned - after restoration work is com- pleted.

The landmark premises closed last February when up to 140 jobs were lost, with workers offered redundancy packages.

The revamp works will focus on trading on the ground floor only, after which the cafe will opem with reduced hours and floorspace, and a reduced menu of teas, coffees and baked items.

The company plans to hire around 70 staff.

Chief executive John Cahill said the "slight delay" in re-opening is due to the sensitive nature of the renovation and a decision to broaden the scope of the work.

It is now expected that Bewley's will open its doors in February or March.

Newly-filed accounts show the company behind the cafe lost €3.9m last year before tax, compared with a pre-tax profit of €2.7m in 2013.

The swing was due to exceptional costs relating to the lease.

Mr Cahill previously blamed rent increases at the location for the decision to close the cafe for refurb- ishment and said the loss of the jobs was deeply regretted.

He said the outlet had been "saddled with a rent of €1.5m".

"We're looking to protect our presence on Grafton Street. We're looking to achieve financial viability," said Mr Cahill, explaining the unexpected decision to close for a facelift.

The Grafton Street cafe opened in 1927 and has been popular with locals and visitors alike.

Hollywood actor Eva Longoria dropped by last year for an Irish breakfast.

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