Famous Dublin nightspot Copper Face Jacks up for sale

Copper Face Jacks

It's legendary.

It has had a musical made in its honour.

It's been Dublin's 'dating site' and a near-certain place to pull, or be pulled.

Every second celebrity or sports star, passing through Dublin, or getting diverted while in the Irish capital, has experienced Copper Face Jacks.

And, now, very much a legend in its 23-year lifetime, 'Coppers' is for sale, and it could make €40 to €50 million. That's a lot of pulling power.

More properly known as Copper Face Jacks, the sprawling Dublin city centre night-club and the adjoining Jackson Court Hotel, spanning five buildings and spread-eagled over three floors on Harcourt Street, earned the label 'institution' years ago, and has not pulled back since.

Coppers has been the epicentra of Dublin's most memorable (and forgettable) party nights, and now is looking to partner up with a new, smooth operator.

Owners and Coppers founders, ex-garda Cathal and Paula Jackson are stepping back from the bright lights, and from the dim lights, and back from the disco lights.

They are retiring from the highly lucrative nightlife business that has seen thousands of patrons cross their paths, cross Coppers' dance floor, and crossing their palms with gold along the way.

Accumulated profits at Copper Face Jacks' operating company Breanagh Catering rose to €75 million by 2018, having made nearly €5m profit in the year.

It goes on the national and indeed international property market just as the country prepares to celebrate St Patrick's Day and festive weekend as co-owner Cathal Jackson “has now decided the time is right for him to retire and is happy in the knowledge that the new owner will be inheriting a very experienced management and staff team who have a great track record in running this long established, popular and very profitable business,” says property consultant and hotel broker Dermot Curtin, of DC Curtin & Associates.

Mr Curtin doesn't disclose any asking price, but it could be expected to score €40-50 million, given its mix of property, including 36-bed hotel, topped off by super-healthy turnover and sheer profitability, allied to longevity and reputation.

“Nothing remotely like this property and business has ever been offered to the market in recent times, there are no comparable sales to measure this opportunity against. However, having spent much of their working lives creating and operating this incredibly successful business, the vendors understand fully what the property is worth and will easily recognise a fair and realistic offer, when it presents itself”.

Buyers could include existing pub and nightclub groups, such as Press Up Entertainment, and as equally a purchaser may come from overseas, already aware of its reputation as a sure, good thing.

Founded in 1996, and constantly expanded, 'Coppers 'is coined as a byword for raucous Dublin night life, and “a ‘rite of passage’ for generations of Ireland’s youth as they started making their way in life,” observes seasoned sector agent Dermot Curtin, noting the revival of the Paul Howard-penned Coppers: the Musical musical of the same name again this year.

Ryan Tubridy famously was 'led astray' to Coppers after an appearance on the Late Late Show by Skibbereen rowing duo, the O'Donovan brothers, of 'Pull like a dog' fame (they may have meant another form of pulling?) and after Dublin's 2011 football win in the GAA's Croke Park the winning captain told the crowd the Dubs would “see you all in Coppers…”

Viewings to buy are, however, by appointment only.

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