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  • Northside West

Happy birthday Arnotts

Monday, 28th May, 2018 6:00pm
Happy birthday Arnotts

Arnotts team members Sandra Burke, who has over 15 years service, and Mary Kinch who has been with the store for 46 years pictured the morning of the store’s 175th Birthday. PHOTO: CONOR MCCABE PHOTOGRAPHY

Happy birthday Arnotts

Arnotts team members Sandra Burke, who has over 15 years service, and Mary Kinch who has been with the store for 46 years pictured the morning of the store’s 175th Birthday. PHOTO: CONOR MCCABE PHOTOGRAPHY

THERE was a big celebration at Arnotts earlier this month as the historic department store marked 175 years of serving Dubliners.

The official Big Blue Birthday took place on Thursday May 17 and it was a jam-packed day filled with fun activities.

Ryan Tubridy broadcasted his RTÉ morning show live from the Henry Street entrance while Irish illustrator Conor Merriman signed copies of his limited edition Arnotts print, which can be seen in the store’s current window displays.

There was also live performances from the renowned Function Band while Dublin born Melina Malone entertained customers with an unmissable performance of classic soul and R&B.

Junior shoppers got a chance to see Ireland’s Got Talent star Jamie Skelton who was performing walk around, close up magic throughout the store with cards tricks, mindreading and more.

Singing waiters Riah and Marco also lent their voices to unsuspecting diners in Clodagh’s Kitchen and Homemade at Arnotts with a musical experience like no other.

Wines Direct were also there with a pop up Bubbles Bar offering a choice of five sparkling wines to enjoy in their seated fine wine room throughout the day.

Chef and Restaurateur Derry Clarke also stepped into the Miele Kitchen in the lower basement cooking up culinary classics during the evening.

The celebrations continued into the weekend, with performances by The Swing Cats.

The six-piece band belted out the biggest hits from the swing dance era of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

To mark the milestone, the 1843 Tea Rooms now has a newly curated Arnotts 175 Museum space that recalls the history of Arnotts over the last 175 years.

The store’s history dates back to the early 1840s when two young shopkeepers, John Cannock and Andrew White, took a lease on premises at 14 Henry Street and set up as Cannock & White, a general drapery and haberdashery.

In 1848, Andrew White passed away leaving the business in jeopardy. However, an imaginative entrepreneur and Scotsman, John Arnott, came on the scene and invested £6,000 in the store.

On Friday, May 4, 1894 a fire broke out in the carpet store of Arnotts and within three hour the entire premises had been destroyed.

Arnotts recovered from the fire, but were in trouble again during the Easter Rising in 1916.

Legend has it that Patrick Pearse stopped off to settle his account in Arnotts on the day of the Rising.

It’s also said that Constance Markievicz ordered 50 uniforms for the Irish Citizen Army in dark green serge from the store at a total cost of £50.

Arnotts recently invested €11m in the Henry Street store, a move described by Dublin Chamber as a vote of confidence in the city centre.

“This investment is one in the eye for those who say that city centre retail has no future,” the chamber’s head of public affairs Graeme McQueen said.

“This investment will ensure that Arnotts remains at the heart of Dublin city’s retail offering – as it has been for the past 175 years.

“Arnotts is the type of shop that people base a visit to Dublin city centre around.

“Shoppers come from all over Ireland to shop there.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here