11 pubs were sold in Dublin in 2020, and sales were agreed or contracts were exchanged and remaining to close in 2021 for an additional seven at the end of December.
As reported by Drinks Industry Ireland, six of the 11 Dublin pubs that were sold last year were sold in the year's first quarter, three were sold in the second quarter, one was sold in the third quarter and one was sold in the fourth quarter.
The 11 Dublin pubs that were sold in 2020 were Grainger's of Meath Street, Murray's of Kilmainham, The Sackville Lounge of Sackville Place and Madigan's of Abbey Street Lower, both of which were part of a larger property acquisition, The Magic Carpet of Cornelscourt, The Old Storehouse of Temple Bar, The Black Forge Inn of Drimnagh, Ruin Bar of Townsend Street, The Dark Horse of Blackrock, The Queen's of Dalkey and the investment interest in JK Stoutman's of James Street.
"Appetite To [Purchase] Licensed Premises Will Remain"
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Drinks Industry Ireland quotes estate agency Lisney's "Outlook 2021" report as saying in relation to the sales, "This is reflective of the fact that publican appetite to acquire high-profile and established licensed premises will remain, albeit possibly constrained by lending availability in the short-term. Those well-resourced will be keen to engage with sales processes for the right opportunity.
"In addition to traditional demand, requirements from well-capitalised funds has emerged recently. These funds are targeting the upper-tier of the Dublin city market and have a preference for scale, seeking established pub groups or, alternatively, acquiring several high-value premises simultaneously. The recent sale of The Old Storehouse in Temple Bar to one such fund is an example of this demand, and we’re aware of other funds actively reviewing Dublin city opportunities."
A "More Protracted" Sales Process
The report continues, "While this demand is positive, the sales process was more protracted in 2020, often with closing dates delayed, and this could be the case again this year. Furthermore, there were sales that fell through, such as The Concorde on Edenmore Avenue and Becky Morgan’s on Grand Canal Street, likely victims of ill-timing due to COVID."
According to the report, this along with the perceived lack of purchasers in the market adversely affected the confidence of many potential vendors, causing some to become "fearful that offers will be opportunistic and low. As a result, several vendors that had been considering offering their business for sale deferred their decision and are waiting until later this year when they believe there will be more certainty. This will mean that the supply of pubs for sale will remain limited, at least in the first half of the year."
"Sales As A Result Of The Financial Impact The Pandemic Has Had"
The report adds, "Sadly, there will also be sales as a result of the financial impact the pandemic has had on smaller scale publicans. Some will decide not to reopen and potentially retire while others will not be in a financial position to reopen. This may lead to redevelopment opportunities, particularly outside of Dublin."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.