UK-based pub chain JD Wetherspoon has successfully bid for a new property in Dublin, paying over three and a half times the guide price for its new acquisition.
The site, a former church on Lower Abbey Street, has been used over the past decade as a rehearsal venue by the Abbey Theatre.
According to the Irish Times, Wetherspoon outbid rivals at a hotly-contested auction, paying €1.475 million for the property, which had an original guide price of €400,000.
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The chain previously bought the former TSB bank across the road for €1.5 million earlier this year and it is expected that it will amalgamate the two to run as a gastropub.
The auction saw a total of 77 bids for the property, with Irish Life going head to head with Wetherspoon for the final few bids. There was interest from several parties for a number of different uses including offices, apartments, a restaurant and a hotel.
JD Wetherspoon now operates five pubs across Ireland; one in Co. Cork and four in Dublin, including the Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire (pictured). It has plans to open 30 venues in the next five years, including a pub and hotel on Dublin's Camden Street at the site of a former homeless hostel.