In a staff briefing on May 7, Bewley’s Café Grafton Street announced it would be permanently closing its door in the coming weeks. The shock news will result in a loss of approx 110 jobs and marks the end of a long history for the iconic coffee and tea house. The leased premises was paying a staggering €1.5m annual rent to the Johnny Ronan Group.
Founded in 1840 by the Bewley family who began importing tea and coffee under the China Tea Company, the first Bewley’s café opened on George’s Street in 1894 and was the first establishment to roast coffee onsite.
Bewley’s Grafton Street Café was subsequently opened in 1927 by Ernest Bewley and boasted Harry Clarke’s stained glass windows.
There is a long literary heritage associated with the city centre Bewley’s café, many meetings and book projects have been developed over a pot of Bewley’s tea and many families would structure a trip to town around their infamous cream buns.
Do you have a Bewley’s memory or recollection to share? We would love to hear from you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Twitter @BooksIrelandMag