'Time for the Govt to step in' and take over Bewley's, says conservation group

Bewley's will open to serve takeaway only, while other areas will be opened in the weeks ahead
'Time for the Govt to step in' and take over Bewley's, says conservation group

Management at the coffee shop in Grafton Street announced it would re-open by August 27. File photo: Rollingnews.ie

The State should take over Bewley's cafe in Dublin, according to a national conservation group.

Management at the coffee shop in Grafton Street announced it would re-open by August 27, despite saying in May it would not be reopening due to a dispute over rent arrears with the landlord.

In a statement yesterday, the company said original staff would be used when they welcome back customers.

Col Campbell of Bewley's said: "We're conscious of the role that Bewley's plays in the hearts of visitors and Dubliners and we're delighted once again to play our part in bringing Dublin's city centre back to life.

"We're thrilled that the team who made Bewley's such a wonderful place, will once again bring the Bewley's experience alive with customers, albeit on a phased basis initially."

It is understood they will open to serve coffee takeaway only and from the bakery also, while other areas will be opened in the weeks ahead in line with customer demand.

The landlords, Ronan Group Real Estate, in a statement said: "We are very mindful of the cultural importance of Bewley's Café Grafton Street to the city of Dublin, its residents and tourists.

"We hope that the temporary cessation of trade will have brought a renewed focus on the quality of the food offering, and we look forward to the café's reopening."

Damien Cassidy, chair of the National Conservation and Heritage Group, said it is a no-brainer for the State to manage the cafe.

Mr Cassidy said: "I can't understand how the Government have not yet done that, I mean they have had two warnings in the past.

"The Government's failed to move, they failed to move when the Bewley family, to which we owe the heritage of Bewley's, had to sell out, they ran into trading debts."

"It's time for the Government to step in and do what the north of Ireland had done for the Crown Bar. I mean the Crown Bar is not an archaeological gem, Bewley's is.

"It's something which carries with it all of Irish history."

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