English pub chain Wetherspoon has acquired its second premises in Ireland, the former Newport Cafe in Paul Street Plaza in Cork City.
The Watford-based company intends to create 40 to 45 jobs in Cork by opening its second pub in Ireland by Apr 2014.
The company, which is making its second attempt to enter the Irish market after pulling out during the boom years citing the cost of doing business here, recently bought a premises in Blackrock, Dublin.
It intends to open as many as 30 premises throughout the Republic of Ireland, with three or four to be opened in the next year.
Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said they are looking at other sites across the country.
“I am delighted that we have secured our first pub in Cork and our second in the Republic of Ireland. We are looking at other sites throughout the Republic of Ireland and hopefully they will come to fruition in the near future.”
The company is planning on investing €1.5m on developing the premises in Cork and is not ruling out buying other venues in the city.
A spokesperson said the company was not buying pubs cheaply from receivers but would not rule out making such deals in the future.
“Wetherspoon’s are looking at sites and I don’t think we would go direct to receivers or the banks but if we were made aware we might look at them. If premises are for sale for various reasons then we would look at them,” the spokesperson said.
The chain primarily operates in the UK but believes its mix of food, drink, and no-music policy will prove just as successful in Ireland.
“Our logic is that people in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland like to eat and drink, simple as that. Pubs in Ireland are very special places. People like products from the Republic and we’ll take that in to account,” the spokesperson added.
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