The search for new restaurant outlets in Cork city centre is seeing new arrivals cannibalise older traders and throws up lifespan questions for some long-established eating houses.
Case in point is the arrival of Mexican burrito chain Boojum in early 2017, which is to move into the 7 Winthrop St slot pizza restaurant, close to McDonalds, and between Brown Thomas and the GPO.
No 7 was occupied for over 25 years by Waterford-based Ginos, which is owned by the Dunne family who also have a similar pizza and ice cream cafe at the Apple Market in in Waterford.
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The high volume of footfall on Winthrop St dictated the change, sources say and the family-owned business had had discussions with several other putative operators before plumping for Boojum, which already has operations in Belfast, Dublin and Galway.
Cork is Boojum’s first “new city” opening in four years, but it has opened three other outlets in existing cities in which it is represented, and will have eight by next year.
Run by brothers David and Andrew Maxwell, it started in Belfast in 2007: it aims to employ 30 in Cork, and will trade on two levels, with c 1,800sq ft at ground and a further 1,000sq ft overhead, seating 50 in total.
Agent Cearbhal Behan of Behan Irwin Gosling represented the Dunne family in the deal, but decline to comment on rent levels.
“Footfall was a key attraction, Winthrop St is almost on a par with Patrick St, where there are very few restaurant opportunities, and new building and compliance regulations can make opening in other building very costly,” Mr Behan observed.
Meanwhile, landlord works are continuing at French Church St in advance of the arrival of a Carluccios, while just now opened in Cork City, at 29 Grand Parade, near the €50m Capitol complex (and where both office and retail deals are well advanced), is a further Bean and Leaf cafe.
It’s at the junction of Grand Parade and Oliver Plunkett St, and spans 3,200sq ft over four floors. Known for decades as Property House, it was vacated by Ladbrokes, and previous occupants included Property Choice and Irish and European.
Joint agents Rob Coughlan of Cohalan Downing, with CBRE, had sought a rent of about €80,000 pa and “terms were agreed around this level. The clients were delighted with the quality of tenant and fit-out with Cork-based Bean & Leaf,” noted Mr Coughlan.
Bean & Leaf are also in Mahon Point retail park, and Carrigaline.
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