UK’s JD Wetherspoon to open in Blackrock

UK pub operator JD Wetherspoon has exchanged contracts to purchase its first pub in Ireland, the Tonic Bar on Temple Road in Blackrock, Co.Dublin. It expects to complete the €1.5 million purchase in the next 10 days with a view to re-opening the premises by April 2014.

Wetherspoon will invest €1.5 million in developing the site, bringing its total investment to €3 million.

Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said that the Blackrock site will be the first of many for the UK chain in Ireland.

“Our aim is to invest up to €50 million in the Republic of Ireland over the next five to ten years, opening between 10 and 20 pubs,” he said, adding that each pub will create approximately 50 jobs.

The chain already runs nine pubs in Northern Ireland, and earlier this year agreed to purchase another Dublin pub, the 40 Foot, in Dún Laoghaire.

In addition to Wetherspoon, other UK chains including Greene King, the brewer behind Old Speckled Hen ale, are also understood to be scouring the Irish market for acquisitions. Source: The Irish Times