The new premises is the work of Declan Doyle who also owns Doyle’s opposite Trinity College and nearby Bowes Pub which, rumour has it, was the first pub in Dublin to serve women, according to Barry Kiernan, General Manager at Lafayette.
The former Redz bar was in the front part of the building, facing O’Connell Bridge, once the studio of the famous photographer James Lafayette.
The Manchester United shop was an extension to this building which closed after a couple of years. Since then the unit had been left idle. Delcan Doyle read about this in the Irish Times and applied for a change of use into Lafayette from the original retail unit.
The premises was furnished by Derry’s and as the bar is also a gallery, the walls have been decked-out with London street art.
There are three bars, one upstairs and two downstairs spanning two levels and with a capacity of 750, 250 more than Redz thanks to the upstairs extension.
The floors of the premises were taken from a Mississippi smokehouse.
Barry Kiernan explains that Declan believes he’s spotted a gap in the market.
“People in the licensed trade are being encourage to lean towards the Parisien-style of café bars and Declan is doing this,” he says. Declan is also hoping to put in two huge terraces at either side of the building.
The café bar’s intended customer profile is that of 23-plus young professionals in the D2 area and craft beers will also be available.
“We’re building a daytime and after-work trade” explains Barry, “with a heavy focus on food, cocktails and fine wines”.
Thus customers are offered a charcuterie board and cheeseboard as part of a “premium quality service at an affordable price”.