Words: Shamim de Brún
Much fêted steak joint Hawksmoor is mid refurb of the National Bank building on College Green. They are converting our biggest fugg you to the penal laws into a 152 seater restaurant.
As is their style, the team intentionally chose this beautiful and significant listed building. Aware of the building’s historical significance, they plan to “sensitively celebrate the handsome fabric of the former National Bank”.
The National Bank is an ornately detailed Italianate building designed by William Barnes in 1835 that, until recently, was an Abercrombie & Fitch. According to unconfirmed rumours, they have only recently managed to get the smell of teenage obsession out of the walls.
According to a press release, many original features are being restored. Including the grand 40-foot hemispherical cast-iron dome set on Corinthian columns and its elaborate plasterwork. Elements like cast iron railings similar to those originally installed in the 1880s are being reinstated. Keeping it green the team tend towards “reclaimed materials.” Here they are being incorporated throughout with reclaimed doors, parquet floors and repurposed antique lighting.
“We are really excited to be opening soon,” says general manager Alex McGettigan. Alex was born in Bray, raised in Bristol and is now back again living among family in Bray. “After restoring this wonderful bank building to its former glory, we can’t wait to welcome our first guests through those beautifully grand doors so as many people as possible can enjoy the Hawksmoor experience in this iconic Dublin building.”
Hawksmoor was established in 2006 in London by Will Beckett and Huw Gott. In 2013 they secured funding. There are now ten Hawksmoor restaurants – in Manchester, Edinburgh, London, and New York. Somehow, Hawksmoor has maintained authenticity and likability. As a result, people are as excited by Hawksmoor’s arrival as they are irritated by Pret’s.