A SMALL corner of Cork city’s venerable George’s Quay is slowly being rehabilitated and returned to a gem-like, Georgian era cluster.
And, that metaphor’s appropriate, as the latest arrival is Azure Jewellery, taking up residence at a listed, jewel-like building 23 George’s Quay.
The building changed hands last year, in a purchase and total refurbishment at a total value of c €350,000.
Behind the move and laudable building rescue is Audrey Lehane, and her Azure team of five in the new combined retail, design studio, trade room and office space at 23.
The building dates to 1790, and is next door to the low-profile, highly traditional Callanans bar at the junction of George’s Quay with Mary Street.
Following the major investment at No 23, the tenant at the next door No 22’s hair salon Chair has also refreshed her building, with the trio making dramatic a makeover change to the old quay’s look, feel and bustle.
Also on George’s Quay in recent times and all well-supported are Cafe Velo, which has now expanded, as well as Filter cafe, and the Casanova Gelato at No 13.
Azure is trading and designing since 2004, selling in a range of Munster, Irish, UK and US jewelers, and owner/founder Audrey Lehane says she’s “delighted to move to this beautiful listed building, providing clients with an amazing customer experience and the opportunity to observe bespoke designs being crafted in our own studio.”
Involved in the four-storey’s buildings resurgence was architect Paul Redmond, Cork City planners, builders Cork- based Oakfield Developments and engineering consultant Jim Kelly.
Work on the building which had been unoccupied for a period at the time of purchase involved working with original stone and brick work, conserving and repairing the shop front and sash windows, new handcrafted wrought iron staircase, and a 795-glass petal lighting feature purchased after renovations at Killarney’s Hotel Europe.
“Building projects like this will stimulate further private and public sector investment,” said Ms Lehane.
“This building in the heart of Cork city centre is now fully restored to the highest standards to ensure its reuse for the people of Cork in a space worthy of its history and architecture.”
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