British pub chain JD Wetherspoons has defended charging Cork punters more for a pint of the city’s famous Beamish stout than in two of its bars in the capital.
And it has warned that price hikes are on the way for its first two Irish bars to bring them into line with its newest outlets.
Customers of its newest Irish bar, the €3.75m Linen Weaver which opened on Cork’s Paul Street Plaza this week, have to fork out €1 more for Beamish, which is brewed 550 steps away, than punters of its first Irish bars, The Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock, Dublin, and The Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.
A pint of Beamish in The Three Tun Tavern will set you back €2.50, but the same pint costs €3.50 in the city where it’s brewed.
A company spokesman said the prices in Wetherspoon’s new Cork pub are in line with the prices in its two newest Irish bars — The Old Borough in Swords and The Great Wood in Blanchardstown — which opened within the last eight weeks.
He accepted the irony that Cork drinkers are paying more for a stout brewed in their city than customers of two of its bars in the capital.
But he said that was simply because Wetherspoons offered very competitive prices when they entered the Irish market.
“People were expecting good prices and that’s what we gave them,” he said.
“The prices in Cork are in line with the latest prices in our most recent openings.
“The prices in the first two bars we opened in Ireland will increase in the near future in line with our more recent openings.”
However, Fianna Fáil city councillor in Cork, Ken O’Flynn, who managed a bar for JD Wetherspoons in London several years ago, said Cork punters deserve better.
“The higher prices being charged in Cork, particularly for Beamish, has left a sour taste in people’s mouths,” he said.
Wetherspoons has created 75 jobs with the opening of its new bar in Cork.
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