Wilton Bar the 'Hilton' pub sale of the year at over €3.3m

Wilton Bar the 'Hilton' pub sale of the year at over €3.3m

Strength in the Irish licensed and bar markets is primarily confined to cities like Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Kilkenny, according to a specialist sector report out this month.

Top sale in the past year outside of Dublin was of the Wilton Bar in Cork’s western suburbs, which sold after auction for over €3.3m in autumn 2019.

The Wilton Bar was acquired in private negotiations via agents Lisney, incorporating Morrissey’s, after it was withdrawn from auction in October in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel, despite having surpassed its pre-auction guide of €2.5m in bidding on the day.

Purchasers of the The Wilton Bar haven’t been revealed officially by Lisney, but are understood to be from outside of Cork,with local sources saying they have Munster bar interests.

The final stage of sale and change of ownership is now coming close to completion, it’s believed.

The Lisney-Morrissey’s 2019 Review/2020 Outlook describes the €3.3m-plus Wilton sale as “a highlight of the market... which now represents the highest price paid for a Cork licensed premises”.

That price threshold/record is clearly of values in recent/recovery years, however, as some Cork City bars traded at €5m-plus in the Celtic Tiger years; it was previously reported that The Wilton’s owners, the Peters family, refused a €10m bid for the 10,000 sq ft 1991-built bar next to the Wilton Shopping Centre, on a site of 0.46 of an acre (see also 2011 Viscount Bar sale and resale reference p18).

The other notable Cork bar sale in 2019 was of Clancys in the city centre, between Princes St and Marlboro St, bought prior to auction for €2.3m by a group including bar and nightclub owner Paul Montgomery, and since reopened after an extensive upgrade and further investment.

The Lisney report says:

The sale of these renowned licensed premises is encouraging for the market in general, as it illustrates the existence of keen demand from well-funded purchasers seeking well-located opportunities that offer both scale and business development potential.

Galway’s big sale in 2019 was of the well-known Carbon late bar & nightclub complex on Eglinton St, bought by JD Wetherspoon for c€2.3m.

Elsewhere “the provincial rural market has continued to struggle with limited appetite expressed from outside of the local indigenous community characterised further by reports of closures of licensed premises that are unviable, the bulk of which were located in sparsely populated districts with an oversupply of competing licensed premises.”

Notable in the Dublin market was the dip in the number of pubs coming for sale, contrasting with “the dramatic increase in the volume of higher value, well-located prime Dublin pubs being sold”, says the report.

Wilton Bar the 'Hilton' pub sale of the year at over €3.3m

Meanwhile, Morrissey’s, with Lisney Cork, reports immediate interest in the proposed sale of the well-known Tompkins licensed premises, between St Patrick’s Bridge and the Opera House on Lavitts Quay, as reported online by the Irish Examiner last week.

Guiding at €700,000, agent Tony Morrissey says Larry Tompkins’ Cork Sport Bar “has traded successfully in this excellent location since 1998”. The traditional-style property has about

5,000sq ft, trading over two levels, and includes a two-bedroomed apartment.

The sale “represents an excellent opportunity to acquire this well-known licensed premises, enjoying a current sound annual turnover but also offering undoubted scope to increase the business through active, hands-on management”.

DETAILS: Lisney 021-4275079

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