A LANDMARK Cobh property with connections to both spirits and the spiritual is on the market for €500,000.
The Pillars, in a prominent position in Westbourne Place with spectacular harbour views, has undergone a series of reincarnations since starting out in the 1870s as a Methodist Chapel.
Known to a more recent generation as The Pillars Bar, it has been vacant for about 15 years, but would make a terrific theatre/arts venue, according to selling agent Johanna Murphy of Johanna Murphy & Sons.
The agent said the classical design of the property, with its elegant cupola which adds to the distinctive Cobh town skyline, would lend itself well to “a theatre and/or, art gallery and restaurant”.
It previously operated as a bar and restaurant but there is no longer a license with the property.
Measuring circa 6,000 sq ft, The Pillars is a three storey-building, with each floor measuring approximately 2,000 sq ft. By UK architect Thomas Robjohns Wonnacott, it was designed to look like a classical temple, fronted by a series of limestone steps that lead to an entrance flanked by sandstone Corinthian pilasters and columns. It served Cobh’s Methodist community from the 1870s until the 1950s, when it closed and it was subsequently sold in 1958 for IR£800.
The property has changed hands a number of times and has traded variously as a snooker hall and licensed premises, with plans at one stage for a gift shop. Its return to market now coincides with the return in earnest of cruise liners which had been absent during the pandemic. More than 100 liners are due to visit the town next year.
Ms Murphy said the town is attracting strong interest currently from both national and international buyers, in both the residential and commercial property markets. Just last week, The Quays Bar and Restaurant, also in Westbourne Place and newly-refurbished, was brought to market by the same agent with a guide price of €5m.
Ms Murphy has already received two enquiries in relation to The Quays, one from overseas and one more local. She is predicting the same kind of interest in The Pillars, which she said is ripe for conversion into a flagship premises, “with its high ceilings, original features and beautiful windows”.
She said it’s “in good shape externally…and a blank canvas to create what you want”.
“It’s an iconic building, in an ideal spot, with a wealth of history, plenty of footfall and the view is spectacular,” she said