German supermarket Lidl reveals plans to open a pub in County Down

The last frontier of Irish culture is being explored by the German supermarket giant Lidl, who plan to open a pub in one of its Northern Ireland locations. 

While it may be bulk buys and discount prices which tend to tempt shoppers, this German supermarket chain has added one more string to its bow. That’s right, Lidl reveals plans to open a pub in one of its Northern Ireland locations.

The news hit the headlines today that the discount dealer has plans to install a public house in one of its 40 outlets in Northern Ireland.

Bargain shoppers in the Dundonald area in County Down are certainly in for a new experience while doing their weekly grocery shop. If plans go ahead, customers will have an option to sit down for a cheeky pint, shopping by their side. 

The blueprints

Indeed this concept where Lidl reveals plans to open a pub is a bit rogue, but also entirely on-brand, given its market demographic.

Approximately 73% of Northern Irish people enjoy alcohol on a regular basis. Additionally, supermarkets are social environments, especially in a community locale such as Dundonald. A new frontier for Irish culture? We believe it just might be.

As it stands, the German superstore has submitted its planning application to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council for consideration. The blueprints outline the development of a public house in part of the new store. 

A breakdown

Imagine heading to a pub in a a supermarket? Well Lidl reveals plans to open a pub inside one of their stores.

Now that Lidl reveals plans to open a pub in a Northern Ireland location, you may be curious as to the finer details.

The pub itself will operate as a fully-functional public house. It will mimic all of the standard styles and services one would expect. The only major difference is its direct relation to Lidl. The venue itself would bear its own entrance and include an off-sales section, also.  

A spokesperson for Lidl spoke to the Irish News and shared some insight. “Lidl can confirm that it has lodged an application to open a licensed premises within our Dundonald store. This will offer shoppers an off-licence service along with a public house.

“As the fastest-growing retailer in Northern Ireland, we believe Dundonald shoppers should have the opportunity to access the same great value assortment currently enjoyed by thousands of shoppers in 37 other Lidl stores in Northern Ireland.”

Future expansion

Lidl reveals plans to open a pub in a Antrim store, what a strange thing to do.

Lidl now has a whopping 40 stores in the North of Ireland, and over 160 in the Republic. Given this, it is safe to say that the German discount superstore has taken the stronghold. 

It is known for its ever-slashed prices and lookalike versions of family-favourite brands. And, its no-nonsense approach to grocery shopping has truly taken Ireland by storm since its Irish debut in 1999.

As of July 2019, managing director of Lidl Ireland, JP Scally announced its future expansion plans. This entailed an additional 50 locations across the island of Ireland

“Looking beyond 2020, we have ambitious plans for over 50 more stores across the island of Ireland and look forward to continuing to provide top quality products at market leading prices to more and more customers.”

At that time, there was no suggestion of today’s news that Lidl reveals plans to open a pub in Northern Ireland. Who would have thought a supermarket pub would make its way into the narrative? Until further feedback from the council, all we can do is watch this space. 

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Paris Donnatella is an avid writer and traveller. From a young age, nomadic parents placed a strong emphasis on education in real experience and the outdoors - a trait which has carried through her life and into her career. She has travelled Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australia and still claims that wanderlust tempts her daily. Saying that she believes Ireland - her homeland - is the most enchanting place she has ever been and is passionate about documenting the Emerald Isle. Chances are, you can find her drinking coffee in some hidden gem cafe in Dublin, planning her next big trip.