Colortrend to host charity tea party in aid of cancer groups tomorrow

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Colortrend Paint and Wallpaper Store in the North Link Retail Park will host a charity tea party in aid of the Irish Cancer Society and Action Breast Cancer this Friday.

The event will take place in store throughout the day with food and refreshments kindly donated by Belle’s Coffee Boutique in The Cellars on Clanbrassil Street.

All support for the event is welcomed with goodie bags up for grabs on the day.

One Dundalk bar close to being sold while another is set to reopen

McManus' Bar in Seatown

McManus’ Bar in Seatown

One of Dundalk’s best known bars is close to being sold while another is set to reopen.

McManus’ Bar in Seatown went on the market last February but has gone sale agreed in recent weeks with local estate agents REA Gunne Property.

The bar, located on the corner of Seatown and Mary Street North, had an asking price of €350,000.

It has a number of bar areas, a lounge, a music/games room, a private beer garden with smoking facilities, residential accommodation overhead and a commercial off sales area that benefits from own door access onto Seatown.

The property is leased for a period of 4 years 9 months from March 1st 2014 at an annual rent of €26,000 and the current tenant will be unaffected by the sale.

Meanwhile, the Central Bar in Clanbrassil Street – which traded most recently as Benny Brady’s – is also set to reopen shortly. The new venture will be called Eoin’s Bar, with new signage erected in the last week.

Go ahead granted to convert former Irish Nationwide building into a shop

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The go ahead has been given to open a new shop at the former Irish Nationwide Building Society office on Clanbrassil Street.

John Gao has been granted conditional planning permission by Louth County Council to convert the building at 86 Clanbrassil Street from a financial institution into a shop.

Irish Nationwide has been closed since 2011 when it was taken over by Irish Life and Permanent.

The Building Society was consequently split between its deposit book and its loan book, which was merged with Anglo Irish Bank to become the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The unit on Clanbrassil Street, beside Smyth’s Pharmacy, has been idle ever since.

McAteer’s The Food House opening in Carlingford today

McAteers_Logo_lgMcAteer’s The Food House are set to open in Carlingford today.

The popular shop, restaurant and delicatessan, run by Jerome McAteer and Bobby Wain, has been a huge success since opening on Clanbrassil Street in Dundalk in recent years.

From 12 noon today though they will also have a similar offering in Carlingford.

Commenting on the opening the owners said: “It’s the start of a new chapter for us and although some what nervous at getting going also very excited to making new friends in this class wee village.

“So hopefully we won’t disappoint as we really will try our very best to put a smile on your face, serve you some lovely food and indeed have a bit of craic along the way.”

Second hand bookshop now open on Clanbrassil Street

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Dundalk’s only not-for-profit second hand school bookshop is now open on Clanbrassil Street.

Operated by Dundalk People’s Centre, the resource at 30 Clanbrassil Street – opposite St Vincent de Paul and beside the old Oxfam shop – the shop has been in operation every summer since 1994.

It offers parents a way of cutting their costs on new school books, as well as cashing in their old ones.

Dundalk People’s Centre also offer low cost clerical services, as well as free training programmes and welfare rights services to help people get back into employment.

For further details visit http://drcu.ie/secondhandschoolbookshop

How much do Dundalk businesses pay in rent? A lot is the answer

dealz-540x300They might have some of the best bargains around but Dealz would have to sell more than 73,000 products just to meet the rent bill for its Dundalk store.

The Irish version of British chain Poundland, Dealz opened in the area last December. Best known for selling most items for just €1.49, Talk of the Town can reveal that the company are paying a whopping €109,136 rent annually for their store at Earl House on Earl Street.

That means that if the average product for sale in store is taken as €1.49 then they would need to sell 73,246 items per year just to meet the rent bill – and that’s before commercial rates, water rates, staff costs, electricity, security and insurance are taken into account, as well as the cost of buying stock in the first place.

The 10 year lease was agreed last December but Dealz are not the only local business paying a high rent for their premises.

A look at the commercial lease register by Talk of the Town revealed that many other local businesses are paying high rates.

In November 2013 the Property Services Regulatory Authority released the Commercial Lease Register, allowing people to evaluate commercial leases in their area. The register includes details of all terms of years of leases and rent payable that were agreed since January 1st 2010 and can be found at www.psr.ie

One business paying more than Dealz is Home Store and More in Dundalk Retail Park, who have an annual rent bill of €160,000.

Meanwhile, Life Pharmacy at 42/43 Seatown Place pay a lease of €100,000, while McCabe’s Pharmacy at Adelphi Court pay €34,000.

Tiger, who opened last month in the Marshes Shopping Centre, are paying €50,000 a year in rent according to the register. That’s €5,000 a year less than Starbucks are paying for their lease in the centre and €10,000 less than DV8 and Peter Mark pay.

Rent-GrowthVodafone are also paying €37,500 for their unit in the Marshes, while CEX pay €40,000.

The largest rent in the Marshes we came across was the €150,000 a year paid by the Euro 2 shop in 2011. Anchor tenants Dunnes and Penneys would no doubt pay more but their agreements came into force before the lease register came into existence.

Unit 5 of the centre, once occupied by A Wear, was taking in €100,000 in rent back in 2012 according to the register.

Indeed, the cheapest rent in the Marshes we could come across on the register was the €20,000 a year paid by River Café. In comparison, the largest rent listed for the Long Walk Shopping Centre was the €33,000 a year paid by Photospeed.ie.

You’d also want to sell a lot of stamps to cover the €40,000 rent for the post office at the Tesco Extra store at the old Dundalk Shopping Centre – a sum also being charged to Leaf Restaurant opposite it and Costa Coffee upstairs.

Meanwhile, Gourmet Palace – the recently opened Chinese and Thai Restaurant at 43/44 Park Street – has a rent bill of €31,200.

On the pub front, McManus’s Pub in Seatown pays €54,000 a year in rent, The Avenue Inn pays €52,262, The Castle Bar in Seatown has a lease of €42,000, The Fane on Park Street has a rent bill of €30,000, while the lease of Toale’s on Crowe Street is €28,600. Martin’s in Riverstown, meanwhile, is €37,440 while The Punter’s pay €42,000 and The Phoenix €36,400.

From a food perspective, Abrakebabra pay €31,200 in rent while next door neighbours The Golden Chopstick pay €15,600.

Meanwhile, the rent for the Avenue Stores on the Avenue Road is a massive €120,000 a year while the XL Shop in Jocelyn Street has a rent of €42,000.

Rents can be cheaper on the likes of Clanbrassil Street where the likes of Costcutter have an annual rent bill of €15,000 and Elmay Boutique pay €25,000.

Earl Street would appear to have something of a premium though with Riva Brasserie paying €54,000 a year in rent although Opening Minds pay just €16,500.

National-PenNational Pen, at €522,000 per year, had the largest rent bill we came across though, closely followed by PayPal at €400,000 a year. AIB, meanwhile, paid the largest lease on Clanbrassil Street at €239,000 a year.

It’s easy to see why some ventures don’t work though. The Fairways had a rent bill of €338,000 a year while the Cali Burrito shop on Park Street were paying €40,000 a year.

Despite some of the high prices paid recently for rents, by far the biggest lease in the area this year though was the €190,000 paid for an allocated space at Dundalk IT back in March.

What do you make of the rent figures listed? Are they over the top or about right and do they encourage people to get into business or to expand?

Let us know your thoughts.

Gardaí investigating cause of fire at Oxfam shop in Dundalk

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Gardaí are investigating a fire at a retail premises on Clanbrassil Street last night.

The incident occurred around 3am when two units from Dundalk Fire Service were called to a blaze at the Oxfam shop.

They spent 90 minutes bringing the fire under control. One person who was upstairs in the building managed to escape unharmed but the downstairs area was extensively damaged with large volumes of stock destroyed.

The scene has been preserved for a technical examination.

Anyone with information in the incident is asked to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9335577 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Noonan rejects Dundalk’s bid to be included in Living City Initiative

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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has poured cold water on Dundalk’s hopes of being included in the Living City Initiative.

A motion was put forward by local councillor Mark Dearey at the Dundalk Municipal District Committee’s annual general meeting earlier this month seeking to have the initiative – which focuses on the regeneration of retail and commercial districts in the historic centres of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford – brought to the town.

It had been hoped the scheme, which offers tax relief on the refurbishment or conversion of old buildings, would encourage more people to take up residence in the town centre on streets like Clanbrassil Street.

However, when local TD Fergus O’Dowd asked Minister Noonan whether he would extend the list of eligible towns to include Dundalk and Drogheda, his appeals fell on deaf ears.

In his response, Minister Noonan said: “The Living City Initiative, which was enacted in the Finance Act 2013 and commenced on 5th May 2015, has been extended beyond the original pilot cities of Limerick and Waterford, to include the cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kilkenny as well.

“In line with my Department’s commitment to evidence based policy-making, the inclusion of these additional four cities was as a result of a comprehensive, independent ex ante cost benefit analysis.

“This Initiative is targeting particular areas of these six cities which are most in need of regeneration. I do not currently intend to extend the Initiative further than the six cities. However, my Department will closely monitor the progress of the Initiative in the six cities, and will keep the matter of potentially extending the relief further under review.

“It is important to note that I do not see this as a wide-spread Initiative, as it is targeted at those areas in the six cities which are most in need of attention.”

New brunch menu launching at The Market Bar this Sunday

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The Market Bar on Clanbrassil Street will launch a new brunch menu this weekend, starting on Sunday from 12 noon to 3pm.

The popular tapas bar, which recently made a few changes to its menu, will be offering bottomless Pimms or Sangria, as well as a Prosecco menu.

For bookings call 042 93 56652.

Irish Nationwide unit on Clanbrassil Street could reopen as a shop

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Plans are in place to open a new shop at the former Irish Nationwide Building Society offices on Clanbrassil Street.

John Gao has applied to Louth County Council to convert the building from a financial institution at 86 Clanbrassil Street into a shop.

Irish Nationwide has been closed since 2011 when it was taken over by Irish Life and Permanent.

The Building Society was consequently split between its deposit book and its loan book, which was merged with Anglo Irish Bank to become the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The unit on Clanbrassil Street, beside Smyth’s Pharmacy, has been idle ever since.

A decision by the local authority is due on August 5th.