First Look: Multimillion-euro pub, restaurant and wine bar on Dublin’s Dawson Street

Lennan’s Yard will offer several eating and drinking options, indoors and outdoors

A multimillion-euro restaurant, cocktail bar and gastropub project opens today on Dawson Street, in Dublin city centre. Lennan's Yard is an ambitious restoration project that links the former Savills auctioneer's premises with a mews and its original stables, dating from 1780, tucked away behind 14-15 St Stephen's Green.

"I don't want to say the total number, but it's millions," says majority stakeholder Shane Mitchell about the total cost of the development. Mitchell also runs Asador restaurant in Ballsbridge and Prado in Clontarf.

DMOD architects in Dublin are responsible for the sympathetic restoration project, with interior design by the New York company, Affect Group, led by Irishman Bernard McNamee, using Irish materials. The venue gets its name from William Lennan, a saddler who was based on Dawson Street in the 1800s.

The project, which has been ongoing for almost four years, includes an 80-seat restaurant upstairs in the former mews building, with a cocktail and wine bar on the ground floor, and a separate gastropub, The Lennan, with street frontage in the former Savills premises at 20 Dawson Street.


The original entrance to the mews, a laneway guarded by the original 260-year-old gates, is “the fulcrum of the venue that stitches the different areas together”, Mitchell says. Running alongside The Lennan, this entrance leads to a courtyard that will be weatherproofed and have its own service bar. To the right of this is the original stable block, a jewel in the extensive restoration project, with the original horse stall dividers intact and defining the space. Drinks and food from the gastropub will be served here, and is open to the covered courtyard.

A terrace with a folding glass wall, en route from Germany, when completed will link the gastropub’s first-floor whiskey room and private dining with the main restaurant and cocktail bar in the mews behind. Circulation between the distinct areas has been carefully considered, and Mitchell hopes that diners might take an aperitif in the courtyard or the cocktail bar before going upstairs to the restaurant for dinner and perhaps finishing with a digestif in The Lennan pub.

The restaurant, along with the cocktail and wine bar, which will serve light meals, and the stables and courtyard bar, open today at 5pm. The gastropub is expected to open before the end of the year. The restaurant, where Ryan Bell, former head chef at Shanahan's and latterly in a management role at the Press Up hospitality group, is leading the kitchen, will serve a contemporary Irish menu, with three courses costing in the region of €65-€70. In the cocktail bar, where Mitchell says guests might "share a bottle of wine and have light bites, such as savoury crab doughnuts, oysters, a bowl of mussels or Irish charcuterie and cheese", sharing plates will cost in the region of €25.

A total of €100,000 has been invested in original works by Irish artists, which are distributed throughout the development. In the stables, four stunning pieces by Christine Bowen with an equestrian theme are in themselves worth a visit to the venue. Other artists represented include Colm Mac Athlaoich, Emma O'Hara, Robyn Carey, Mark Francis, Gwen O'Dow, Tony O'Malley and Alice Maher.

“There’s lot of pressure on me, I’ve done openings before, but this has been difficult for a number of different reasons,” Shane Mitchell says, citing Covid delays and supply chain issues among the reasons for the delayed opening. However, he is confident that today’s opening will go well. “They’ve been working in the kitchen for three weeks, and the front of house have been in training for a month.”