Clerys owners plan ‘high quality dining’ for Dublin’s Northside

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The new owners of Clerys are making progress with their plans to add a ‘rooftop destination’ to the iconic department store.

The rooftop destination is seen by the owners, OSC Properties, as a way of counteracting the lack of high quality restaurants in the area. OSC’s explanation for the rooftop restaurant was given in response to a request by Dublin City Council planners for further information on its plans for the redevelopment of Clerys’ former O’Connell Street department store.

OSC outlined the need for such a venue in its submission to Dublin City Council on November 9.  In the submission, the planning consultants for the company, highlighted what they saw as the current “predominance of lower grade café/restaurant and fast-food type uses” on the city’s main street. Consultants John Spain & Associates pointed to the recent ‘Dine in Dublin’ promotion where 90pc of the restaurants featured were located on the south side.

The consultants noted that some 1,500 restaurant seats had been added in the south of the city in recent years and they said the north of the city had been “left behind” during the same period. Following discussions and reviews with it consultants, OCS Properties, headed by businesswoman Deirdre Foley, reasoned there is a demand for restaurants of 1,000 sq ft or less in Dublin city centre.

Foley and her colleagues’ culinary ambition for O’Connell Street is highlighted by numerous references in their submission to London’s Kingly Court, seen as one of London’s most vibrant food hubs, and to the Michelin star winning Dublin restaurant, Heron & Grey. Speaking in July, when the plans were originally lodged Deirdre Foley said, “Our vision for this iconic building at the centre of O’Connell Street is a catalyst to restore the street as our most vibrant shopping and social hub for visitors and locals to enjoy and be proud.”