In a move that could save its café on Dublin's Grafton Street, Bewley's has offered to pay Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) rent arrears, and interest and legal costs, for the venue.
It was announced in May that the decision had been made to permanently close the Grafton Street café for reasons that the café's managing director, Cól Campbell, said included rent issues, and a legal dispute between Bewley's and RGRE over the café went to mediation last week.
It was also revealed earlier this month that developer Johnny Ronan gave Bewley's the option of buying the building that houses café.
"Raised Appropriate Finance"
According to The Irish Times, in a letter to RGRE, Bewley's said that it has "raised appropriate finance" to discharge its rent arrears and "interest owing under the lease and the landlord's reasonable costs".
Bewley's stated that it has been "carefully monitoring trading conditions within the marketplace, assessing the potential of newly-introduced government supports, identifying opportunities for reductions in overheads and the realisation of existing assets, and engaging with providers of finance", and that it has taken into account the "unique cultural importance of Bewley's Café Grafton Street to the city of Dublin and to past, present, and future generations of Irish people".
Bewley's told The Irish Times that it has made an offer to RGRE that "would save its café operation on Grafton Street", and added, "In the event that the proposal…is accepted by the landlord, Bewley's would of course be delighted to commence work with the fantastic team of people that makes Bewley's so special, and to plan for the reopening of Ireland’s most iconic café."
The offer made to RGRE by Bewley's is subject to RGRE withdrawing its legal proceedings.
A spokesperson for RGRE said that the group is considering the offer, but questioned whether the café will reopen, saying, "How could you believe anything Bewley's say, given what's happened?"
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