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Bewley's Limited
Industry Beverages
Founded 1840; 177 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 France and moved to Ireland in the 18th century. They entered the tea trade, and in 1835, Samuel Bewley and his son Charles landed 2,099 chests of tea shipped directly from Canton in China.[citation needed] 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 November 1927. The building had once housed Whyte’s Academy, a school whose pupils included the Duke of Wellington and Robert Emmet. By 1999, the company operated more than twenty cafes in Ireland and a further six overseas.[1] In 2010 they employed around 800 people worldwide,[2] although 140 jobs were lost in early 2015 with the closure of the Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin.[3]


Bewley's Grafton Street[edit]

Bewley's Oriental Café on Grafton Street

The company also leases Bewley's of Grafton Street, a coffee and tea emporium. Registered on April 15, 1926 (1926-04-15)[citation needed] and opened in 1927, Bewley’s Grafton Street is a Dublin landmark.[3] Bewley’s Grafton Street closed in November 2004 for a brief period and reopened in May 2005 after refurbishment and restoration. Its lease was challenged by the landlord, Ickendel Limited in 2007 after extensive works were carried out to the historic building without landlord consent.[4] In 2007 the 'Mackerel' Seafood Restaurant on the first floor of the cafe was closed to accommodate demand for additional café seating. Bewley’s Cafe on Grafton Street closed again for refurbishment in February 2015, with works that were expected to reduce the capacity of the cafe by half.[3] By October of that year, Bewley's announced that the length of the closure was likely to extend to around a year.[5] As of mid-2016, the likely date of reopening had been pushed back to the end of 2016, due to additional work being needed on the building structure.[6]

North America[edit]

The company entered the American market by acquiring the Rebecca's Cafe chain in the Boston, Massachusetts area in 1997.[7] Bewley's further expanded to the west coast in 2000 with the purchase of the Java City.[8] [9]


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.[10][11]

Bewley's Hotels[edit]

Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin

Bewley's Hotels were a chain of hotels using the Bewley's trademark both in Ireland and in the United Kingdom[12][13]This brand licensing agreement ended in 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fleming, Dierdre (16 July 1999). "Bowler's provides refuge". Bangor Daily News. p. C6. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Slattery, Laura (29 October 2010). "Bewley group made profit of €1.6m last year". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ McDonald, Dearbhail (11 January 2007). "Bewley's will fight bid to take away its lease". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  5. ^ McLoughlin, Gavin (12 October 2015). "Grafton Street Bewley's to reopen in February or March". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Walsh, Kayla (12 June 2015). "Bewley's reopening delayed by revamp". Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Irish Independent 7 February 1998[not in citation given]
  8. ^ Tea and Coffee Trade May 2001
  9. ^ Food and Drink Digital 29 December 2010
  10. ^ "Bewley's acquires British supplier Bolling Coffee". RTE News. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  11. ^ McCabe, Sarah (14 February 2016). "Bewley's hunts new acquisitions among UK and US coffee houses". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Hotel group website
  13. ^ "Moran Hotel group buys Bewleys hotel chain". RTE. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 

External links[edit]