herald

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Coppers is for sale, but buyers will have to club together to find €40m

Copper Face Jacks has been a rite of passage for decades
Copper Face Jacks has been a rite of passage for decades

Nurses, gardai and GAA fans should have a whip-round - Dublin nightclub Copper Face Jacks is up for sale for around €40m.

Owner and former garda Cathal Jackson is to retire and is selling the Coppers premises and Jackson Court Hotel to which it is attached.

However, you will need to skip a few nights out to save up if you wanted to buy the club. Industry sources believe the combined property could fetch more than €40m.

"Over the past 23 years, I have been totally committed to setting up and establishing Copper Face Jacks as one of the most enduring and successful entertainment venues in Ireland," Mr Jackson said.

"It is now time to hand over the reins to new owners who have the energy and expertise to take Coppers to the next level."

Coppers is probably the country's best-known nightclub and has been a rite of passage for young people.

It has acquired a legendary status in Irish popular culture, playing host to hen parties and high-flyers and anyone looking to get "the shift".

Musical

It was first opened in 1996 and has been extended a number of times over the years.

After becoming Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar celebrated his new job with a party in Coppers.

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly creator Paul Howard has written a musical about it, while in 2011 Dublin's All-Ireland football winning captain Bryan Cullen told the Croke Park crowd: "See you all in Coppers."

The sale is being handled by estate agent Dermot Curtin, who said it was a "once in a generation" opportunity.

"The intrinsic property value alone of these five buildings in the heart of Harcourt Street in central Dublin underpins the future of this project," he said.

"The property is in excellent condition, has been very successful and profitable since it opened and, with the present owners stepping aside, the sale presents a unique opportunity to take the Jackson Court Hotel and Copper Face Jacks nightclub on to even greater success over the next 25 years."

The sale comes at a time of change on the Dublin nightclub landscape.

A number of famous venues have closed their doors in recent times, including The Wright Venue in Swords and Lillie's Bordello off Grafton Street.

Breanagh Catering, the company behind Coppers and the Jackson Court, made a profit of €3.5m in its 2018 financial year, according to its most recent accounts. That compared with a profit of €4.4m in 2017 and €4.3m in 2016.

It had accumulated profits of more than €75m over the years and a cash pile of €63m.

The venue, where nights often finish with Amhran na bhFiann being played in true nightclub tradition, is attached to the 36-bedroom Jackson Court Hotel.

Marketing documents for the property also tout its potential to target daytime footfall.

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