03/09/2019 - 01:15
By Tommy Barker
One of the largest bars and restaurants in Munster, the Wilton Bar in Cork's western suburbs, is to be sold next month in Dublin at public auction, with a guide price of €2.5m – and that's just a quarter of what it was due to be sold for back in Celtic Tiger times.
The purpose-built bar, next to the Wilton Shopping Centre and the Cork University Hospital, is owned by the Peters family of publicans from Co Meath, who developed it 28 years ago, for a then-headline-making cost of £1m.
It's noted for a very substantial turnover, especially from its food and carvery business.
The two-storey 10,000 sq ft Wilton Bar opened in 1991, and by the early 2000s the Peters family also owned the Viscount Bar in nearby Bishopstown, and Rosies in satellite town Carrigaline, and is the last Cork pub to have remained in their ownership, up until now.
Their trio of Cork bars were run by Patrick Peters, who died in 2001, and at one stage were for sale for a combined €14m. Subsequently in 2007, at the economy's peak, the Wilton Bar itself was briefly on the market, for a then-reported €10 million.
Now, selling agents Lisneys in Cork, incorporating licensed sales specialists Morrisey's of Dublin, are to offer The Wilton Bar by public auction on October 10, with a €2.5m guide.
It's on a site of 0.46 of an acre, with parking for 30 cars, and is separated from the Wilton Shopping Centre by an access road and roundabout serving the SMA Centre, St Joseph's Church and some residential developments to the south.
It's expected to be bought by an existing publican or group as a profitable entity, and not for site or redevelopment use.
It's food trade is very significant, given a suburban catchment of 200,000 and very close proximity to the CUH/CUMH medical campus, which employs over 3,500.
The adjacent Wilton Shopping Centre went up for sale a year ago, with a €86m price tag quoted at the time for its owners Clarendon Properties who secured a significant planning permission for a €100m redevelopment of the Wilton Centre, to include 190-bed hotel, multi-screen cinema etc. That western suburban retail complex has an an entry point right by the Wilton Bar roundabout, and currently is anchored by Tesco and Penneys, has a footfall of 5.5m per annum and parking for 1,100 cars.