Press Up to open new Union Cafe in Church­town

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - The Market -

The Press Up Group’s bur­geon­ing ar­ray of venues looks set to in­crease yet again as the com­pany has leased a 390 sq m (4,200 sq ft) restau­rant unit at 96/98 Church­town Road Up­per.

Prop­erty in­vestor MM Cap­i­tal is devel­op­ing a row of com­mer­cial units on the site for­merly oc­cu­pied by McGowans pub. Press Up’s new unit will house the Union Café at Church­town, a restau­rant which will seat about 130 pa­trons, of­fer­ing all-day break­fast, lunch and din­ner seven days a week and cre­at­ing 50 new jobs be­tween full-time and part-time staff.

The new venue is ex­pected to open in Novem­ber 2018. By that time the en­ter­tain­ment gi­ant may have shut the orig­i­nal Union Café premises in Mount Mer­rion, which is set to be de­mol­ished. The plan to re­place the ex­ist­ing build­ings on the Mount Mer­rion site with a new mixed-use scheme of apart­ments and re­tail was ap­proved by Dun Laoghaire- Rath­down County Coun­cil in April. Since then lo­cals have ap­pealed the de­ci­sion to An Bord Pleanála.

Press Up is headed by Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan, while MM Cap­i­tal is led by Derek Pop­pinga and Pe­ter Leonard. Leonard and McKillen’s fa­thers are long-time busi­ness part­ners, shar­ing own­er­ship of the in­ter­na­tional prop­erty in­vest­ment com­pany Claren­don Prop­er­ties. The re­la­tion­ship with the new land­lord in this in­stance is likely to be en­tirely co­in­ci­den­tal given Press Up’s widely pub­li­cised am­bi­tious plans for ex­pan­sion.

The land­mark Church­town site was ac­quired in 2007 by a con­sor­tium com­pris­ing in­vestors such as Bernard McNa­mara, when it was val­ued at over ¤10 mil­lion. MM Cap­i­tal ac­quired it in 2014 at an in­evitably heav­ily dis­counted price and sub­se­quently flipped a por­tion of the site on which it se­cured plan­ning per­mis­sion for a res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment to builders Home­land Projects.

Its new de­vel­op­ment, Cam­ber­ley Mews, launched in re­cent months. On the re­main­der of the site, MM Cap­i­tal has re­con­fig­ured and re­de­vel­oped an ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial struc­ture to ac­com­mo­date five com­mer­cial units – two of which will be oc­cu­pied by Union Café.

Press Up’s new unit will house the Union Café at Church­town – the orig­i­nal ( is in Mount Mer­rion

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