As you will all know by now, Household Linens have been open on Oliver Plunkett St. for 25 years since the May weekend. That certainly makes some of us feel just that little bit old(er) but we’re still a long way from being the oldest business on the street… Of course, we are trading in one of the oldest surviving buildings which was originally a brass foundry in the early 1800’s. We share that history with other local buildings – did you know that the G.P.O. was the site of the original Cork Opera House ?
So much has obviously changed but the basic fabric of the street has stayed constant. The other constant is the unique nature of the ‘Merchants’ trading on Oliver Plunkett St. and surrounds… Over 250 businesses are currently plying their trade in and around this area and (nearly) all retain the Cork tradition of being indigenous, family owned and run. In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by multi-national conglomerates, it is this feature that gives Cork (and Oliver Plunkett St. in particular) it’s unique ‘flavour’ and ‘character’. What’s all this leading in to..? Well, the retail trade has suffered more than most in recent years as people, hit by the effects of the recession, have cut back on spending. A group of people have come together, led by Clodagh Daly & Valerie Finnegan-Cahill (of John Daly Opticians & Ikon Hair Style) and they have launched a new initiative aimed at revitalising this historic quarter to make it the ‘must see’ / ‘go to’ destination for shoppers. Think, if you will, of other famous streetscapes such as Chinatown or Bourbon Street or the colour of Las Ramblas…
With the imminent arrival of “One Albert Quay” at the eastern end of Oliver Plunkett St. (the new office block scheduled to open in Feb. 2016 is expected to employ 1,600 people) and the “Brewery Quarter” in the old Beamish & Crawford site at the western end, Oliver Plunkett St. is ideally placed to be the main fulcrum for these projects and the potential spin-off can only be imagined. That’s the vision – it’s now down to the retailers themselves who, with the backing of the City Council, can make the “Plunkett Quarter” the envy of every other retailer in the country !
The Plunkett Quarter initiative can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.