From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bewley's Limited
Industry Beverages
Founded 1840; 178 years ago (1840) in Dublin, Ireland
  • Samuel Bewley
  • Charles Bewley
Headquarters Northern Cross, Malahide Road, Dublin D17 K526, Ireland
Products Coffee, tea
Parent Bewley's Ltd

Bewley's is an Irish hot beverage company, located in Dublin and founded in 1840, which operates internationally. Its primary business operations are the production of tea, coffee and the operations of cafés. Bewley's has operations in Ireland, the UK and the United States; in the Boston area under the Rebecca's Cafe name and in California as Java City.


The Bewley family were Quakers who originated in Cumberland and moved to Ireland in the 17th century[1]. They entered the tea trade, and in 1835, Samuel Bewley and his son Charles landed 2,099 chests of tea shipped from Canton in China.[2] The Bewley family subsequently expanded into the coffee trade and in the late 19th century, they opened cafes in South Great George's Street in 1894, and Westmoreland Street in 1896. The flagship Grafton Street café was opened by Ernest Bewley in 1927.[2] The Grafton Street building had once housed Whyte's Academy, a school whose pupils included the Duke of Wellington and Robert Emmet.[3] By 1999, the company operated more than twenty cafes in Ireland and six overseas.[4] In 2010 they employed around 800 people worldwide,[5] although 140 jobs were lost in early 2015 with the closure of the Bewley's Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin.[6]


Bewley's Grafton Street[edit]

Bewley's Oriental Café on Grafton Street

The company has operated a café on Dublin's Grafton Street since 1927.[2] Sometimes described as a "Dublin landmark",[6] this outlet closed in November 2004,[7] before reopening in May 2005 after refurbishment and restoration. In 2007, its lease was challenged by the landlord, Ickendel Limited after extensive works were carried out to the historic building without landlord consent.[8] The Grafton Street premises closed again for refurbishment in February 2015, with works that were expected to reduce the capacity of the café by half.[6] By October of that year, Bewley's announced that the length of the closure would extend,[9] and by mid-2016, the date of reopening had been pushed back to the end of 2016.[10] Ultimately, on 1 November 2017, Bewley's Grafton Street was reopened after the "1000 day" multi-million-euro refurbishment.[11]

US and UK[edit]

The company acquired the Rebecca's Cafe chain in the Boston, Massachusetts area in 1997,[12] and expanded to the west coast in 2000 with the purchase of the Java City brand.[13][14]

A Bewley's brand hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin in 2010

Bewley's entered the UK market in 2011 following the acquisition of speciality coffee supplier, Darlington's before acquiring Bolling Coffee in 2013 and UK foodservice distributor, Peros in 2015.[15][16]

Bewley's Hotels[edit]

Bewley's Hotels were a chain of hotels using the Bewley's trademark both in Ireland and in the United Kingdom.[17] This brand licensing agreement ended by mid-2015.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bewley, Edmund Thomas (Sir) "The Bewleys of Cumberland and their Irish and other descendants", William McGee, Dublin, 1902
  2. ^ a b c "Bewleys - About us - Our heritage". Retrieved 4 November 2017. [In 1835] Bewley and his son Charles import 2,099 chests of tea directly from Canton in China to Dublin on the clipper ship The Hellas, thereby breaking the East India Tea Company's monopoly [ 1927] Ernest Bewley opens Bewley's Grafton Street Café 
  3. ^ "Bewley's iconic Grafton Street cafe closes its doors for refurbishment". Irish Times. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017. The upper floors of the [Bewley's Grafton Street] building once housed Whyte’s Academy, a grammar school established in 1758, with former pupils including Thomas Moore, Robert Emmet and the Duke of Wellington 
  4. ^ Fleming, Dierdre (16 July 1999). "Bowler's provides refuge". Bangor Daily News. p. C6. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Slattery, Laura (29 October 2010). "Bewley group made profit of €1.6m last year". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Murphy, Patricia (27 February 2015). "Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street shuts its doors for six months this afternoon". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Bewley's cafés in Dublin close". RTÉ News. 1 December 2004. 
  8. ^ McDonald, Dearbhail (11 January 2007). "Bewley's will fight bid to take away its lease". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  9. ^ McLoughlin, Gavin (12 October 2015). "Grafton Street Bewley's to reopen in February or March". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Walsh, Kayla (12 June 2015). "Bewley's reopening delayed by revamp". Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  11. ^ RTÉ (1 November 2017). "Bewley's café reopens after renovations". RTÉ News. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  12. ^ "Bewleys lining up £15m takeover of Kylemore". Irish Independent. 7 February 1998. Last August [1997] it bought the Boston-based Rebecca's Cafe 
  13. ^ "Java City Merges with Campbell-Bewley Group". Tea and Coffee Trade. May 2001. Archived from the original on 29 June 2001. 
  14. ^ "Bewley's US operations win major airline contract". Food and Drink Digital. 29 December 2010. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Bewley's acquires British supplier Bolling Coffee". RTÉ News. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  16. ^ McCabe, Sarah (14 February 2016). "Bewley's hunts new acquisitions among UK and US coffee houses". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  17. ^ "Moran Hotel group buys Bewleys hotel chain". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "Former Bewley hotels to be rebranded by Dalata". Irish Times. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 

External links[edit]