The grand reopening of a refurbished Bewley's Café on Dublin's Grafton Street may not be till next year, as planning applications push the project back.
The Dublin Inquirer reports that, according to a spokesperson for Bewley's, refurbishment works for the iconic building have taken longer than previously thought.
Bewley's closed in February 2015, with a loss of 140 jobs, for renovations that were predicted to take just over six months. Now, 15 months later, Tim Kinsella of Bewley's says a timeframe is still not set.
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“Bewley’s are concentrating on a high quality approach to this overall project and we aren’t setting a specific date for the reopening until we’re ready to open our doors to a fully renovated café,” he said.
“Bewley’s are committed to supporting the café as part of the social and cultural fabric of Dublin. We have decided to invest further in the renovation to make it as complete as possible.
“The café had not been renovated for over a decade and it has needed conservation and restoration work as one of Dublin’s finest buildings which needs care and sensitivity to ensure the job is done to the best effect possible.”
Bewley's is a protected building and hence may require special planning permission for any change to its exterior or interior. Any conservation concerns raised by the plans - which include altering the windows, interiors doors and floors - can take weeks to approve.
The original plans for the refurbishment was to scale down the seating - from 400 to out 160 - aiming to cut back on costs and staff, and will only operate on the ground floor.