DIAGEO HAS RECEIVED the all-clear from the council to open a new gastropub in the brewery where the Guinness widget and Hop House 13 were created.
Located on the lands of the Guinness Brewery at St James’s Gate, the ‘experimental brewery’ – called the Open Gate Brewery – has been open to the public since 2015 as a tasting area.
People can buy tickets online for beer-tasting sessions at the location, where some of Guinness’s most notable inventions, like the patented widget in a can, and brews such as Dublin Porter, West Indies Porter, Hop House 13 were conceived.
Earlier this year, Diageo Ireland applied for permission to add a new kitchen to the site and turn the space into a restaurant capable of housing up to 200 people.
Dublin council has approved the plans for the proposed restaurant, which will be operated by the Guinness Storehouse.
In its application to the council, Diageo said its plan is to “match food with beer so as to extend the experience” provided by the Open Gate Brewery.
According to the drinks maker, the menu at the restaurant will be a “select seasonal menu” of fish, meat and vegetarian options designed to “accompany the beer-tasting experience”.
While the restaurant development was given the green light, Diageo’s application to overhaul the iconic Guinness signage facing onto James’s Street was knocked back.
Diageo argued the entrance to the Open Gate Brewery was hard for tourists to find. The firm wanted permission to create four new signs to showcase the entrance.
However, the council said the addition of new signage and removal of the existing Guinness logo facing James’s Street is contrary to the city development plan, which seeks to preserve the built heritage that brings character to various parts of Dublin.
The plans to expand the offering at the Open Gate bar have come at a time when Diageo is investing heavily in upgrading many aspects of the Guinness Storehouse development.
Last year, Ireland’s most-attended tourist attraction announced plans to pump €16 million into new developments at its St James’s Gate site.
As part of the investment, the Guinness Storehouse will double the size of its ‘gravity bar’, which offers visitors a 360-degree panoramic view over Dublin city. The new development would increase the capacity of the bar to 1,000 people.
Across the street from the Open Gate bar, Diageo is also in the middle of construction of a new €25 million distillery and visitor centre, which will be used to produce its new premium blended Irish whiskey, Roe & Co.
In addition to Guinness, Diageo also produces brands such as Baileys, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker. Recent sales figured released by the group showed that strong gin and beer sales caused a spike in sales in Ireland for the company last year.