€2.1m cafe investment sale no hill of beans

A recently relet restaurant in Cork city centre, between the GPO and St Patrick’s St, and part of a corner-set property with two other tenants earning €150,000 combined per annum, is for sale, priced at €2.1m.

€2.1m cafe investment sale no hill of beans

By Tommy Barker

A recently relet restaurant in Cork city centre, between the GPO and St Patrick’s St, and part of a corner-set property with two other tenants earning €150,000 combined per annum, is for sale, priced at €2.1m.

Listed with Cearbhall Behan of Behan Irwin Gosling/Downing Commercial as an investment opportunity is No 7 and the upper section of 8 Winthrop St, owned by a Waterford-based family for two decades.

Previously operated as Ginos pizza restaurant by the Dunne family, who also own Waterford’s Ginos, the user changed to rapidly growing burrito chain Boojum two years ago, in a deal negotiated by Mr Behan.

Boojum was set up in 2007 in the North, sold for €3m several years ago, and is now backed by Renatus Capital.

It has since continued to expand its popular Mexican burrito bar operation and has 15 sites so far, eight in Dublin, four in Belfast, and one each in Cork, Limerick and Galway.

The chain currently employs 140 staff, and Boojum pay a rent of €130,000 for Cork’s No 7 Winthrop St after a competitive process that saw a number of other interested restaurant players in the hunt for a premises.

Its Cork presence is on the pedestrianised and well-trafficked Winthrop St, between McDonalds and Brown Thomas and the Long Valley and GPO on Oliver Plunkett St.

The building is currently occupied with three tenants, with Boojum restaurant occupying the entire three-storey No 7, with 1,700 sq ft at ground, with the upper floors of No 8 let to a barbers and a beauty salon. The entire floor area is c. 4,368 sq ft, and the sale does not include the ground floor of No 8, occupied by Diana O’Mahony Jewellers.

The sale comes as a new occupier, Smiggle Stationary, opens on Winthrop St in a former shoe shop, and comes on the back of an investment resale of the street’s McDonalds restaurant last year for €5.5m. That eatery earns €372,000 pa and was bought by Davy Private. Sold at €5.5m, at a return of 6.4%, it was a quick flip on the city centre burger cafe for a Cork investor living overseas, who only acquired the Winthrop Street property in 2014, for €4m.

Other occupiers in the vicinity include Brown Thomas, Smiggle Stationary, AIB, Pandora, Vodafone and Ulster Bank, and the jewel-like Winthrop Arcade.

“Any prime existing units which have food planning are quite advantageous due to the fact that planning for new food units within the city in prime areas are not allowed,” suggests agent Mr Behan, noting the City Council recently refused planning for Café Nero on Patrick St, and the refusal of a Starbucks’ retention application, stating in the refusal that no more planning will be allowed for café/food use on the street.

“Hospitality has gathered momentum much quicker than retail, with many national and multinational café/ restaurant operators seeking units within the city centre.

“We already have strong interest in this investment, given the limited prime city centre options available with strong covenants,” he adds.

Details

: BIG/Downing Commercial 021-4270007

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