EXCLUSIVE: Prague-Based Food Hall Operator To Redevelop City Centre Church In Dublin
Dublin is set to get its first major food hall, Bisnow can reveal, after Prague-based Martin Barry Group confirmed that it is to repurpose St. Andrew's Church on Suffolk Street.
Unused since 2015, the church will be converted into a destination for 12 outlets for small and midsized independent chefs, restaurateurs and operators under the Manifesto Market brand after MBG took on the lease to develop the food hall. Opening is expected during the first half of 2025.
MBG's proposal was chosen from 10 international firms that competed in a public procurement tender for the former church, which has also acted as the main Dublin tourist office of Fáilte Ireland and for which food hall plans were first mooted in April 2019.
American founder and CEO Martin Barry said that the landmark will be redesigned and operated by his company, which opened its first Manifesto Market in Prague in 2018. In 2023, the company unveiled Europe's largest food hall in Berlin at the newly redeveloped Potsdamer Platz after replacing a proposed food concept from London-based Mercato Metropolitano.
Manifesto Market now has two sites in Prague and two in Berlin, with Dublin to become its fifth location, creating around 250 new jobs.
“I was born in New York City to Irish parents and have called Europe my home since 2015,” Barry said. “We have built a family business from the ground up and are excited to invest in Ireland to return St. Andrew's to Dubliners.”
Barry called the location a “once-in-a-lifetime project” and is promising to bring “something entirely new” to the capital’s hospitality offer, with each of the group’s other projects reflecting its local food scene and focused on sustainability. Its sites also feature film screenings, artists and community-driven events around children’s activities, sustainability, tasting and cooking lessons.
“Our mission is to connect people and to activate the area,” Barry said.
Food halls have been a huge success across many European and U.S. cities, with brands such as Time Out, Eataly, Mercato Metropolitano and Market Halls expanding rapidly and proving major local and tourist draws.
Time Out Lisbon is the Portuguese capital’s most popular tourist attraction.
For its part, Manifesto Market has won Mastercard, Tripadvisor and MAPIC awards since its Prague debut.
Design and fit-out works to prepare the building are being led by Dan Daye from MDO Architects and Colin McCabe from John J. O’Connell Architects, an RIAI-accredited conservation specialist.