JD Wetherspoon eyes further Irish growth as it readies seventh pub opening

British pub group JD Wetherspoon will open its first city centre pub in Dublin next week.

The Silver Penny - in which Wetherspoon has invested €4m - will open on Lower Abbey Street on June 21.

It is Wetherspoon's seventh pub in the Republic. Up to now, the group has grown in the capital by opening in suburban locations such as Dún Laoghaire, Swords, Blackrock and Blanchardstown.

However, it also has a €20m 'superpub'/hotel project set to open on Dublin's Camden Street early next year. By that time, Wetherspoon will be directly employing around 1,100 people in Ireland.

The group also operates The Linen Weaver pub in Cork's Paul Street Plaza and The Tullow Gate pub in Carlow town.

A spokesman for Wetherspoon said, last month, that the group is looking at Waterford city as the next location for its expansion plans in Ireland.

The group has full planning permission for an identified site in Waterford city centre but has yet to decide on an on-site date.

The group also said its existing Irish operations are trading well and that it is continuing to look for more expansion sites here.

In a trading update, last month, the pub group said total sales - across its core UK operations and its pubs in Ireland - grew by 8.4% on a year-on-year basis over the course of the 13 weeks to the end of April - the third quarter of Wetherspoon's financial year.

Like-for-like sales were up by 7.6% on the same period last year.

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