Dublin Doing a Cork? Will CHQ be the New English Market?

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Cork’s English Market is often on the must-visit list for everyone who visits Ireland. And why not? Brimming with oodles of personality and old-world charm, it has been trading since 1788 and offers an eclectic mix of just about everything. In fact, as I type this, the last juicy bit of Turkish delight bought from the Cork Market is being devoured in the office. Maybe Dublin is all set to have its own version of the English Market with permission being sought to redevelop the Custom House Quay (CHQ) building?

Imagine being able to buy an assortment of goods and produce – from fresh veg, sweets, condiments, jams and jellies, to even meat and fish and more! After all the CHQ building also has a lot of history to its credit.

Positioned on Custom House Quay in Dublin City centre, the building was originally designed to store cargo. Tobacco and tea were kept in separate compartments above ground, wine and spirit casks were stored in the vaults below ground. The building was made famous when it hosted the Crimean War Banquet in 1856, celebrating the return of 3,000 Irish soldiers.

The CHQ building. Photograph: The Custom House Quay website

Now, according to a report published in The Times, Custom House Quarter, the owner of the property, has applied to DCC for planning permission. The planning permission is to turn the ground floor of the listed 19th-century building into a multi-stall food market, with an event space on a mezzanine level. Food and alcohol will be served within the food hall and outside area, a new central entrance from George’s Dock.

Former Coca-Cola chief Neville Isdell and his stepbrother Mervyn Greene, a Cork businessmen, own the building. They had previously said that options were being examined to open a food market, like the one on the lines of the English Market in Cork. If the planning permission is giving the go-ahead, it is believed that the development will also include the construction of a five-storey, 40,000 ft mixed-use building. This will be over an extended basement and and will also include office space.

Sounds exciting, isn’t it?

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Prerna Shah
Prerna Shah
Prerna Shah is a media and content professional with over a decade of experience in both print as well as digital. She pursues her love of a good story and storytelling by writing features, blogs, essays and interviews.

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