UK PUB CHAIN JD Wetherspoon have said they will not be buying up several iconic Dublin bars which went to auction today.
Media reports last month suggested that the company would purchase the Capital Bars portfolio – which includes Café en Seine, The George, The Dragon and Howl At The Moon.
But following the close of the auction today, Wetherspoon’s said they had not entered a bid.
“I just think that having looked at the sites, they weren’t for Wetherspoon’s,” spokesperson Eddie Gershon told DailyEdge.ie. “We wouldn’t be rushed into purchasing sites that were inappropriate for us.”
Billed as “Dublin’s most iconic pub portfolio” , the four bars were expected to sell for around €12million in total. Café en Seine was a landmark of the Celtic Tiger years that (unlike many of its contemporaries) has managed to stay afloat since.
Wetherspoon’s first Irish outlet will open next week in Blackrock, with others expected to follow in Cork and Dun Laoghaire.
The company confirmed it was looking seriously at further Irish expansion, but said it would choose its outlets carefully. Gershon said:
Wetherspoons is biding its time. We’ll look at other sites and do our homework. I’m sure when we open more sites in the Republic of Ireland, people will look at those and say ‘That’s the best site in that town’.
DailyEdge.ie has reached out to receiver RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, who are selling the portfolio alongside its original owners Des and Liam O’Dwyer.
Here’s the full agent’s brochure for the four pubs.