Former high street McDonald’s could become Irish bar

A vacant site that used to accommodate a former McDonald’s restaurant in Brentwood is set to become a Irish bar that opens until 2am.

London City Pub Group Ltd trading as McCafferty’s has applied for a new premises licence for the site in Brentwood High Street.

It wants permission to open from 8am to 1am between Sundays and Thursdays and 8am and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The plot has remained vacant since McDonald’s closed its restaurant there in April 2016 after first trading in the town since 1991.

The first McCafferty’s Traditional Irish Bar opened in The Diamond in Donegal Town in 2016, with three more openings in 2018. Two of these three bars opened in the UK in North Harrow and Epsom, while the third bar opened in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

There are now other McCafferty’s bars in Seven Kings, Crouch End and Halifax in West Yorkshire as well as two in Spain and two in Dubai.

If granted permission the new business in Brentwood is likely to be in direct competition of the Slug and Lettuce and O’Neill’s which are opposite.

An application to change the use of the site from a restaurant to retail with the rear of the building being developed into three flats with access from William Hunter Way was permitted in 2020.

Planning permission to change its use to a pub will be required in addition to the licence. It is unclear what that application may entail for the other parts of the site.

An application for an adjacent property has been submitted to Brentwood Borough Council for that site to be developed into three family sized mews houses, three one bedroom apartments and two one bedroom studio apartments.

A determination is to be made at a later date.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter