Guinness in £14m expansion of brewery's Gravity Bar
The Guinness Storehouse is planning on pouring €16m (£14m) into expanding its Gravity Bar in Dublin in a plan that will see it doubling in size.
The development at the tourist attraction will see the capacity of the city's highest bar being increased from about 250 people up to 550.
The company hopes to start the building work, which is subject to planning permission, early next year and reach completion in 2019, just ahead of its 20th anniversary.
Last year saw 16.5 million tourists visiting the attraction. Guinness Storehouse deputy general manager Joe Higgins said its doors will remain open throughout the period of construction. He said the decision was taken to expand the panoramic bar after listening to tourists' feedback, who felt it was getting too cramped during peak periods as it was the last stop in the storehouse tour.
"Since the storehouse opened in 2000, right up until this year, we have invested in the region of €28m (£25m) so every area of the building has been revitalised," said Mr Higgins. "So taking all that into account and listening to our visitors, the Guinness storehouse Gravity bar in peak periods the comfort levels were becoming a concern.
"Having invested in every other area internally, this was an obvious one to focus on.
"In essence, we will now be able to double the footprint and go from hosting 250-270 visitors up to 500-550, so we will increase comfort levels.
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"The dwell time can go up and all of our visitors can take in even better panoramic views of the city."
Mr Higgins said that the same area of Dublin had received considerable investment in recent times, with companies including Teelings Whiskey and Alltech opening nearby.