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food and drink

Jameson's makers want to open a VIP-only hideout in inner-city Dublin

The Capel Street pad will also include a private bedroom for celebrities invited to stay overnight.

THE DRINKS GIANT behind Jameson whiskey wants to turn a Dublin city centre furniture store into a new meeting space with a private bedroom – but it’s just for VIPs in town.

Irish Distillers Limited has filed plans with Dublin City Council to redevelop a retail unit on Capel Street into an invite-only “experiential” meeting space, with a smaller public café and juice bar attached.

The city-centre location, near Parnell St, has been the home of the Dublin Furniture Store for over 25 years, while part of the ground floor of the building and basement is currently used by the Hot Bubble Café.

In its planning submission, an architect for Irish Distillers noted that the furniture store on the site is no longer sustainable and in May was running a closing-down sale.

The meeting place, which would include an en-suite bedroom, would be used solely by Irish Distillers for corporate meetings, training and occasionally to accommodate visiting guests from overseas.

“Given the notoriety of the brand abroad, we envisage this space being used occasionally for overnight stays from international guests such as celebrities and celebrity bartenders in our ancillary bedroom space,” the planning submission stated.

According to the application, a separate juice bar, selling only non-alcoholic drinks, would be open to the public at ground level. The shop would be called Scully’s, a reference to a major figure in Jameson’s history.

Modifications would be made to divide the current retail unit to ensure the meeting space is separate from the juice bar.

The café and juice bar would be accessible from Capel Street, while a corridor from Jervis Lane Upper would provide access to the VIP meeting space from the rear of the building.

jameson meeting space gate The private meeting space entrance DCC DCC

Visitor attractions

Two years ago, Irish Distillers owner Pernod Ricard pumped €11 million into a revamp of the Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield in a bid to compete with other whiskey attractions like the Teeling Distillery in Newmarket Square.

The proposed new establishment, located a short walk from Smithfield, will be modeled on similar spaces Pernod Ricard has set up in cities such as New York, Stockholm and Buenos Aires.

Consultants for Irish Distillers said the plans for the new juice bar should be welcomed due to the boost another café would give to Dublin’s tourism sector.

They said: “(It would) attract a great deal of tourist interest, being the only non-alcoholic bar in Dublin, a trend that is becoming common in many metropolitan cities, for example London and Sydney.

“Indeed the juice bar will be the first non-alcoholic bar in Ireland and provide a point of difference for Capel Street adding further to its eclectic mix of uses.”

If approved by the council, the redeveloped premises would include interactive features that ‘tell the story’ of Jameson, Capel Street and the building itself – which is a protected structure.

The invite-only rooms will be modeled on a space “John Jameson would live in if he was alive today”.

“The space will be modern yet paying homage to traditional Ireland. It will combine luxury elements like copper and emerald tiling to emulate the Jameson bottle,” the application said.

elyx House of Elyx in Los Angeles YouTube / ABSOLUT ELYX YouTube / ABSOLUT ELYX / ABSOLUT ELYX

The firm added that meeting space will also be a “sanctuary for Dublin bartenders” that can be used for workshops.

“(It) will be open five days a week for corporate team-building activities such as technology workshops, as well as health and wellness activities such as morning yoga/pilates for bartenders.”

In the evenings, the space would be used for “a weekly education session on Mondays”.

Irish Distillers, a subsidiary of French drinks giant Pernod Ricard, also sells Monkey 47, Beefeater Gin and Cork Dry Gin in the Ireland.

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Written by Killian Woods and posted on

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