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Double Take: This beloved Dublin diner sign was destined for the skip - but it's getting a second chance

The Metro Burger sign sat on the side of the Screen Cinema for decades.

Image: TheLocalsDublin/Instagram

PEEKING OUT FROM the side of a derelict building on Hawkins Street, Dublin 2, is an octagonal sign.

With a white background and wine font, it reads ‘Metro Burger,’ marking the diner that resided there until it shut down in the early Nineties. 

Or at least, the sign was there, until last month, when it disappeared. Luckily, it isn’t gone forever.

The sign sat for decades just around the corner from the old Screen Cinema, which was partly demolished last year. When Emma Clarke of Dublin Ghost Signs heard that the derelict building where the sign hung was due to be torn down, she wanted to save a piece of its history.

“I got in touch with the property company to ask whether they would save it. Luckily, they said they were happy to do that,” she explains.

I mentioned on Instagram that I might need help and that’s where John Mahon from The Locals came in. He offered to pick it up with me and he’s storing it for now. Thankfully it never made it as far as a skip!

“So many Dublin signs disappear in renovation or demolition works and with them goes a part of Dublin’s cultural heritage.”

Before the demolition process began in April last year, Clarke shared a photo of the sign on Instagram, sparking people to share their memories of it. 

“People remembered waiting outside it for their buses home,” recalls Clarke. “The 48a and 62 were two buses that were mentioned a lot – and people always reminisce about the decor and the food too.”

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mb1 Source: TheLocalsDublin/Instagram

“This sign is priceless,” reads one comment. “I remember eating there way back in the ’80s waiting for the 62 bus back to Goatstown,” reads another. “Would hate to see that piece of history disappear!” 

On taking the sign down, Clarke and Mahon discovered that the frame had corroded and was “practically disintegrated” so all that could be salvaged were the front and back panels. 

mb4 Source: TheLocalsDublin/Instagram

Now, there’s a team hoping to restore and save what’s left – and hunt down a new location:

The sign is a lot bigger than it looked when it was hanging on the side of the Screen Cinema, so it needed to be moved with a van. Simon Kingston from Reverb Design is going to repair it and hopefully he’ll get it lighting again – and we’ll find a new home where people can enjoy it.

While the sign is no longer in its usual location, another Dublin spot is sure to soon benefit from it, so keep your eyes peeled. 

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