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25th Jul 2020

Bewley’s makes last bid attempt to save Grafton Street café

Sarah Finnan


The historic Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street announced that it would close permanently due to the impact of Covid-19 back in May of this year. Owned by artist Paddy Campbell, staff were told the bad news by means of a note that said reopening would not be viable.

Hoping to make one last bid attempt to save the café, the Irish Times reports that Bewley’s has made an offer to the building’s landlord in an effort to stop the popular Grafton Street café from closing.

First going to mediation, no agreement was reached. However, Bewley’s has since managed to raise “appropriate finance” and a letter sent to Ronan Group Real Estate reveals that Bewley’s has offered to pay its rent arrears on the property as well as interest and legal costs. According to a spokesperson for the Ronan Group, the proposal is being considered.

This comes after one Twitter user shared a photo of a message that appeared in the Bewley’s café window. Commenting that the note seems like a “pretty final” indication that “Bewley’s is officially gone”, it reads:

“IT’s with profound sadness that we have closed the doors of our ‘Legendary Lofty Clattery Café’ for the last time. We wish to thank the Café’s loyal customers, our partners and staff past and present, for all their love and support over the years. We’ll miss you. ”

Closed since March, at the time Chief Executive John Cahill explained that the company had been making losses of €1.2million and claimed the only option to keep the business from closing indefinitely was to invest in a total overhaul and breathe new life into the café.

Members of the public have made several calls to save the café’s iconic stained glass windows ahead of its predicted closure. Widely considered to be Ireland’s greatest stained glass artist, Harry Clarke designed a number of decorative windows for the new premises of Bewley’s Oriental Café on Grafton Street back in 1927 – along with Jim Fitzpatrick whose Celtic-motif artwork also appears there.

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