Monday, May 30, 2005


Bewleys on Grafton Street re-opens

In lighter news, one of Bewleys much-loved cafes reopened on Dublin’s Grafton Street today after a six-month revamp. The famous landmark, opened in 1926, closed its doors last November after owners Campbell Bewley Group blamed the high cost of rent and insurance rates for making losses.

However a Save Bewleys Café Campaign led by Lord Mayor Cllr Michael Conaghan succeeded in luring entrepreneurs Jay Bourke and Eoin Foyle to run the premises on a business footing.

Cllr Conaghan said today: “I think Bewleys on Grafton Street is safe now. We’ve managed to marry business and heritage concerns to keep it open and help make it sustainable.”

Bewleys traditional café and patisserie will remain on the ground floor while first floor will house a fish restaurant called Mackerel. Bewleys Café Theatre will be reinstated on the top floor of the building, with cabaret and jazz performances at evenings.

Cllr Conaghan said plans are continuing to save the longer-established Bewleys premises on Westmoreland Street, which also closed last November.

“We will fight on but I think we have set a precedent with Grafton Street that business and heritage can co-exist successfully,” he said.

Extensive remodelling and renovation has retained the famous Harry Clarke stained-glass windows installed by the Bewley family in the 1920s. Loved by Dubliners and tourists for its coffee and sticky buns, Bewleys cafes were an integral part of city life and frequented by literary figures like James Joyce and Patrick Kavanagh.

I think this is great news and it's nice to see that this important Dublin landmark has been given a second chance. Well done Mr Conaghan and all who were involved in the campaign!


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