PLANNING permission has been refused for a €5m revamp of The Bodega bar on Cornmarket Street to include a new microbrewery and distillery.
Cork publican Benny McCabe had sought the go-ahead for the revamp saying he wanted to reintroduce the distilling process to the city producing rum.
Under the plans, the microbrewery was to also make beer for the award-winning range already being produced across the street in Rising Sons.
Alongside the microbrewery would be a new distillery producing dark rum in a nod to Cork’s centuries-old shipping and naval links with the Caribbean.
Mr McCabe told the Evening Echo the new development would create 15 jobs. It was also proposed to build an underground beer pipeline linking both breweries.
Planners said that a microbrewery was acceptable in principle. However, they said they had concerns about the impact on the protected structure.
In particular, they said the installation of brewing equipment appears to be driven by practical requirements rather than consideration of the key characteristics of the internal space.
The Conservation Officer said the building's use as a distillery and microbrewery could make an appropriate and dramatic reinterpretation of the historic market building.
However, they said the planning application that was submitted was not satisfactory as it breaks up the building's space rather than unifying it.
Permission was refused as the development would have a negative impact on the protected structure.