City Hall director of strategic and economic development Fearghal Reidy has said discussions are ongoing with retailers in the city on how to constantly evolve the retail experience for shoppers on St Patrick St and surrounding streets to combat the rise of online shopping.
However, he cautioned that long-time traders must be protected as shopping moves toward “family-oriented activities”.
Future plans could lead to the opening up of St Patrick St to new bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, while a Kildare Village-style offering could be implemented on South Main St, North Main St, Shandon St, and Barrack St.
Currently, both sides of St Patrick St and the eastern side of Daunt’s Square, Opera Lane, and Winthrop St are designated for retail outlets only, under the Cork City Development Plan 2015-2021.
The policy means restaurants, cafes, and pubs are not generally allowed to open at ground level.
Mr Reidy has said this may have to change.
“If you look nationally at what is working in terms of streets, Patrick’s St would be up at the top. It’s miles ahead of O’Connell Streets in Limerick, Waterford, and Dublin. The key to that is the offer.”