PLANNING permission has been granted to open a restaurant and wine bar on O’Connell Street, following public assurances from a businessman that it would not be used as a lapdancing club.
Limerick businessman John Cox has been granted permission from Limerick City Council for his plans for the basement of 100 O’Connell Street, situated between Rooney’s and Bentley’s on the city’s main thoroughfare.
The former Trinity Rooms and Old Quarter boss has a long-term lease of the building and has the consent of the owner for his plans which involve “nothing untoward”.
Mr Cox said the premises could open before the summer if there are no objections to An Bord Pleanala by the deadline this Wednesday. He said the 60-90 seater restaurant would require further investment of €60,000 to open, after other costs. A tenant is in place to operate the new wine bar, which is due to be called The Copper Room.
Publican Kieran Murray, who has operated neighbouring Isaac Taylor’s and Bentley’s for the past decade, lodged an objection to Mr Cox’s plans to redevelop the basement of the Georgian building.
The move follows a proposed joint venture between the neighbouring businessmen which turned sour.
In his objection, Mr Murray speculated that the ultimate use could involve the resurrection of lapdancing in Limerick, noting that there had been objections to other enterprises elsewhere in the city on the same basis.
The pair had plans lodged in 2010 to develop two function rooms that would be linked to Isaac Taylor’s at 101 O’Connell Street. However, this application has been amended from the original application and will not connect with Isaac’s next door.
No 101, which is owned by developer Robert Butler, is one of 103 buildings in Limerick subject to enforcement orders by NAMA, though it is not listed for sale.
The application has been granted subject to 21 conditions attached by the council’s planners. Mr Cox said he was happy with the conditions outlined.