It's a scoop – the former and locally famous R Cudmore fruiterers, vegetable and ice cream shop on Cork city's St Patrick Street is going back to a food business offering, after about 20 years' interim use as a mobile phone outlet.
However, the next tempting offers at the iconic, double bow fronted 22 St Patrick Street will see fruit, and other flavours, presented mostly in a digestible, but frozen format: the diminutive but high profile shop at the city's main retail boulevard corner with Winthrop Street is about to be occupied by Gino's Gelatos, an Irish chain of ice cream, crepes and Belgian waffle retailers.
Gino's arrival next month, taking over a former Vodafone outlet who had been paying a 'bananas' rent of €160,000 a year since 1999 for just a 400 sq ft footprint, reprises in some welcome ways the shop's original use.
The Cork family-owned R Cudmore fruiterers' business also included ice cream sales in its later years' offerings among often exotic fruits, vegetables and confectionery, with its pick'n'mix sweets a perennial favourite.
Family-owned Cudmores was in business in Cork since before World War 11, and No 22 St Patrick Street was rebuilt after the 1920 Burning of Cork, by British Auxiliaries and the Black and Tans, part of five acres of city centre laid waste and which had to be rebuilt, in blocks.
Later, R Cudmore Fruiterers opened further Cork city centre shops, with a second one on St Patrick Street by the Fr Mathew Statue and William Street, and also sold in other locations such as Castle Street, Oliver Plunkett Street next to the GPO, and on the South Mall.
The Cudmore family business vacated their iconic 22 St Patrick's Street shop in 1999, when Vodafone took on a 25 year lease, at a time when mobile phone shops took over Irish High Street locations in droves, driving up retail rents in the process.
It's one of the smallest shops on St Patrick's Street, at under 400 sq ft, but has huge footfall thanks to proximity to Brown Thomas, Penneys, Dunnes, Debenhams and a McDonalds.
More recently, Vodafone opened a second,larger Cork city shop at 109 Oliver Plunkett Street, at the opposite end of Winthrop Street and last year offered to sub-let 22 St Patricks Street, via estate agents Cushman & Wakefield.
C&W's Philip Horgan confirmed that sub-lease a deal has been done between Vodafone and Gino's Gelato, to run up until 2024, at an unconfirmed rent: it's likely to be well under 'telephone money' €160,000 a year agreed by Vodafone around 1999 with landlords/Cudmores.
The return of ices, and fruit-topped waffles perhaps, and more to No 22 St Patrick's Street, will see Gino's Gelato scoop their third Cork city outlet. They already trade at Oliver Plunkett Street and Paul Street Shopping Centre, on a franchise agreement with the Dublin-based company which has close to 18 Irish outlets, with Gino's (no relation to the Gino's Pizza and Ice Cream which used trade on Winthrop Street) also flagged to open in Kilkenny and Waterford.