A new chapter on Cork’s Paul Street as bookshop ends literary link

New chapters beckon at the premises of one of Cork City’s longest-established bookshops, Connolly’s, as owner Adrian Connolly prepares to retire after decades dealing in old and rare books, new books, and records.

A new chapter on Cork’s Paul Street as bookshop ends literary link

The place has been a trove, piled to the rafters, and a charming magnet for browsers and buyers: it’s been the personification of an old world book shop.

The shop, on Paul Street Plaza, has an address of no 14 Brown Street, recalling when this street ran from Paul Street to the River Lee, by Lavitts Quay, and used to house the Jennings soda-water factory.

That street came to an end, however, when the Paul Street Shopping Centre was built, and when the pedestrian plaza was created, in Cork’s 800th charter anniversary year, 1985.

No 14, Brown Street (centre of photograph) is part of the large, four-storey, 19th century, imposing Catholic diocese-owned offices, CURA and CMAC, which provide advisory services and accommodation on Paul Street, near St Peter and Paul’s Church.

This cracking plaza unit, with circa 700 sq ft at ground level, is coming to market to let in January, 2015, for the Diocesan authorities: due to location, and its distinctiveness, it’s certain to come under viewing and occupancy pressures.

It’s on the re-christened Rory Gallagher Place, where a winding copper statue of a guitar, flowing into song lyrics, was placed in 1997, two years after the legendary bluesman’s death, and the open plaza space is popular with all ages.

The shopping centre, anchored by Tesco, has 15 traders and 700 car-parking spaces, luring shoppers to this historic city core, which has been characterised as the Huguenot Quarter, and populated by a mix of cafes, bars, boutiques and quirky shops. A Wetherspoons bar is also planned, awaiting permission on changes to the former Newport Bar/Mangan’s building.

No 14’s a niche in this great setting, and is being offered on a lease of €25,000 per annum by estate agent, Jarlath Boyd, of Timothy Sullivan & Associates.

He’s expecting interest from cafes, boutiques, jewellers and more.

Any chance,perhaps, that it could maintain a link with its recent literary past, such as the just-opened bookshop and cafe, called Alchemy, on Cork’s Barrack Street, near Elizabeth Fort, which has its walls papered with old Echos and Examiners? Drinking and reading in it, boy.

Details: Timothy Sullivan & Associates, 021-4275888

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