Set right next to the city’s historic classical Courthouse between the city centre and UCC campus, the complex has cafe/bar frontage to the rapidly reinvigorating Washington Street (where SpitJack Rotisserie Brassiere’s a buzzy new arrival, to be followed by West Cork Burgers) and a more sizeable linked premises onto Courthouse Street/James Street, taking its name from an ancient, adjacent stone plaque dating James Street to 1767.
It traded for many years as The Bailey, after being set up by Declan Buckley (the name went with a move from an earlier, 1970s Bailey bar behind the Washington Inn by Liberty Street), and took on the James Street moniker about two years ago: it is currently owned by a consortium of bar operators. It is now for sale by agent Cearbhall Behan of Behan Irwin Gosling/Downing Commercial, with best and final bids sought by July 27.
No guide price is indicated, but sources in the trade suggest a value in the region of €1.35 million, while Mr Behan says there’s an amount of positive changes for the vicinity, and a huge demand for city bars, restaurant and venues.
Close by, the former Square Deal premises is set for redevelopment for retail and 240 new student accommodation beds, while construction work is already underway on the former Muskerry Service Station riverside site for 200 other student beds for Ziggurat.
Apart from proximity to the Courthouse, James Street is also close to the new Rachel’s restaurant at Courthouse Chamber, and to hospitality venues such as Reardens bar and nightclub and others on Hanover Street, as well as the Silly Goose, Costigans, the Washington Inn, Mardyke/Outback entertainment complex “in conjunction with a strong commercial/office presence which is supplemented by UCC and the River Lee Hotel,” says Mr Behan.
The still-anticipated BAM Brewery Quarter convention and events centre development site on the former Beamish and Crawford site at South Gate Bridge means Washington Street “will act as a complementary ‘feeder area’ for the 5,000 seat convention centre, before and after events, and already completed nearby is Cleary Developments’ Capitol development, housing Facebook, Huawei, Lifestyle Sports, Home Sense and the Oyster,” adds Mr Behan.
Apart from food and drink trade, James Street’s 6,500 sq ft could also accommodate a music venue as there’s currently a dearth of live venues in the city centre. Its accommodation is over three floors plus basement, incorporating four bars at ground, mezzanine and first floor level, plus commercial kitchen, smoking areas, etc.
Given cafe/bar and diner openings (such as Richard Gavin’s recent opening of SpitJack in a wholly refurbished historic building at 34 Washington Street) Cearbhall Behan of BIG notes “the demand for hospitality units within the city is phenomenal, with local, national and UK operators seeking to get a slice of the Cork market.
“James Street will appeal to both licensed and restaurant operators chasing high volume food and beverage business in a proven day and night location with numerous complementary developments yet to be completed.”