THE Wetherspoon pub chain has completed work on its latest venue in Ireland – a pub and hotel which it hopes will open in January 2021.
Located in Dublin, the British firm, owned by Tim Martin, paid €6milion to purchase the property and invested a further €27.4million developing the site.
It makes the venture its single largest investment in its 41-year history.
The pub, named Keavan’s Port, has an adjoining 89-bedroom hotel, and is located in Camden Upper Street.
When open, it will employ 200 full and part time staff, the chain confirmed this week.
Wetherspoon’s chief executive, John Hutson, said: “We are delighted to have completed the development of Keavan’s Port.
“We believe that the pub and hotel will be a great asset to Dublin and will hopefully act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the city.”
The pub takes its name from the history of the local area, where Camden Street Upper and Lower form part of an ancient highway into the city of Dublin.
The two streets were previously known as St Kevin’s Port.
In a series of old maps and records, the name is shown as Keavans Port (1673), St Kevan’s Port (1714), Keavan’s Port (1728), St Kevan’s Port (1756) and then St Kevin’s Port, which was renamed in 1778, after the First Earl of Camden.
The name Keavan’s Port/St Kevin’s Port was derived from the Church of St Kevin, in nearby Camden Row, said to have been founded by a follower of the sixth-century hermit.
St Kevin also features in the poem St Kevin and the Blackbird (1996) by the Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney, in which he relates how the Irish saint held out a ‘turned-up palm’ for a blackbird to nest.
Until the 1940s, the property had been the convent of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, established in the 1890s.
The sisters nursed the ‘sick poor’ in their own homes and their former chapel has been preserved and forms part of the new pub and hotel.
Beau Jacks Boxing gym occupied the property from 2011, with a boxing ring positioned under the domed ceiling in the apse of the chapel.
Artwork in the new pub will reference this aspect of the former life of the building, Wetherspoons confirm.
While there is no official opening date for the pub and hotel the company is aiming to open the pub on Friday, January 15, subject to their licence being granted.
It will be managed by Fillip Mordak, who has worked for Wetherspoon since 2007 and previously managed The Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire and The Silver Penny in Dublin.