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Calls to save Bewley's iconic stained glass windows ahead of closure

By Sarah Finnan

May 7, 2020 at 12:44pm

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Bewley's on Grafton Street yesterday announced that it will close permanently due to the impact of Covid-19.

Owned by artist Paddy Campbell, staff of the historic café were told the bad news in a note that reads:

“Taking into consideration all of the information currently available to us, there is a real likelihood that the cafe will generate substantial and unsustainable losses into the future, and we need to take urgent steps to address that situation.

It is with profound regret that... in this situation it is likely to be necessary to permanently close the cafe in the coming weeks.”

Many were shocked to learn the news, dubbing Bewley's a "household name" and "so much more than a cafe to the city's history" as they recall fond memories of afternoons spent there.

There have also been several calls to save the building's famous stained glass windows ahead of the closure. Widely considered to be Ireland's greatest stained glass artist, Harry Clarke designed a number of decorative windows for the new premises of the Bewley's Oriental Café on Grafton Street back in 1927, along with Jim Fitzpatrick whose Celtic-motif artwork also appears in the café.

Depicting images of colourful flowers, marine creatures, exotic birds, butterflies and lush foliage, the windows have come to be known as one of Dublin's most beautiful attractions - it remains to be seen what will happen to the windows.

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