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The Bodega on Cornmarket Street.
The Bodega on Cornmarket Street.

Permission is granted for a micro-distillery in The Bodega

RUM and other spirits will soon be distilled in Cork city centre after publican Benny McCabe was granted planning permission for a micro-distillery at his Cornmarket Street premises.

Cork city planners have given permission for a combined microbrewery/distillery in part of the ground floor of The Bodega. Mr McCabe told The Echo he cannot wait to begin making “Cork spirits for the Cork market.”

Architect drawings of the planned new distillery inside The Bodega.
Architect drawings of the planned new distillery inside The Bodega.
“I believe the future of everything is going to be hyper-local and this will be as local as it gets,” he said. He has long spoken of his desire to distil rum in tribute to Cork’s Caribbean connections through shipping but he has plans for a full range of spirits.

“I think in the cycle of how these things go, vodka is going to become very popular again soon,” he said. “We intend to do a whole range of Cork spirits.”

Specialised equipment for the distillery will have to be manufactured on the continent and Mr McCabe expects the whole process of setting up the distillery to take approximately two years.

He hopes it will be just one of a number of major new businesses that appear in Cork in the coming years.

Benny McCabe in The Bodega. Picture: Des Barry.
Benny McCabe in The Bodega. Picture: Des Barry.
“The whole city is primed and ready, we just need a couple of key projects to get off the ground and I believe we would see new businesses, including manufacturing, pop up all over the city,” he said.

In particular, he believes getting the long-delayed Events Centre project off-the-ground is key for the city’s economic development. In addition to the installation of a microbrewery/distillery, planners also granted permission for conservation works to ‘restore the building’s original industrial character’ and Mr McCabe paid tribute to the City Hall staff for the attention they gave the project.