Premier Hospitality

Butlers Chocolate Café

Written by Roma Publications

Butlers Chocolate Café

Butlers Chocolates, chocolate masters since 1932, has brought its renowned Butlers Chocolate Café to the beautiful surrounds of Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

The flagship 1400 sq. foot Chocolate Café at Number One Ballsbridge continues the tradition of progressing store design while paying homage to the signature brass detailing, bespoke curved surfaces and beautiful lighting. Each Butlers Chocolate Café has a unique bespoke design based on the architectural shell and environs.

The Chocolate Café opened in August 2018 and is the 21st Butlers Chocolate Café to open in Ireland, the company’s 36th globally.

The design was overseen by award-winning multi-disciplinary interior architectural and design consultancy 21 Spaces. The project took approximately 6 months to complete including a 12-week programme on site. John-Henry Boyle, Creative Director at 21 Spaces, recently spoke to Premier Hospitality about the Café’s design:

“We’ve had a relationship with Butlers for over six years now. We do all their work in Ireland and the Middle East. Each site is bespoke, even though they follow the same design principle. Each site is bespoke in terms of things like the counters, which are quite organic. We’ve trialled two new items on this site. We’ve got a new branding layer that we’ve introduced for signage, which is there for a new sandwich range. We’ve also incorporated a new wayfinding system within the unit. They are quite minor but for the brand it’s an evolution of what’s come before.

“The pièce de résistance is obviously the counter. Each store is designed almost like a jewellery box and it’s all about showcasing the chocolate in the best form. They are all done in quite an organic form with curved glass, curved counters and even the bulkheads overhead are all curved. The lighting is also a very key part to it. We have engineered the lights from a German manufacturer, which is bespoke to Butlers. The lighting really shows off the chocolate in its best form.

“The chocolate is the first thing you see when you come through the door. Then there are new signage systems, which are quite contemporary but very high quality using materials like solid brass. The seating areas are similarly high quality with real Muirhead Leather. So there’s quite a lot of glitz in it and obviously it’s going to be very busy so it’s made to last. The challenge with this particular site was to counter the effects of the triple ceiling and bring the height down to a human level.”

Customers can choose from a wide selection of freshly prepared artisan coffees; latte, flat white, cappuccino, mocha or Butlers justifiably famous hot chocolate, served by highly skilled baristas with a welcoming smile, wonderful service and a complimentary Butlers chocolate of choice. Discover a sweet delicacy from the delicious selection of daily baked goods or savour a tasty treat from the contemporary artisan sandwich range – freshly made in store, from the finest ingredients. As usual, the complete range of Butlers Chocolates is available to take away.

Reflecting on the relationship between 21 Spaces and Butlers, John-Henry added: “Butlers are a very important client to us. It’s very important to try and push the boundaries with them to do new things. Whilst it’s not a revolution, it will always be an evolution with the brand. It’s a premium brand and one that is well suited for our business model.”

Established in 1932, Butlers Chocolates is Ireland’s premier family owned chocolatier. Founded in 2002, 21 Spaces has grown into a leading design studio working on a variety of projects both in Ireland and internationally. To view more projects, please visit



Portview is a multi-award winning fit-out specialist that manages interior projects for some of the world’s most prestigious brands. The company has been in operation for more than 40 years and within this time has built an excellent reputation within the industry.

Past projects for Portview have included Harvey Nichols: The Mailbox, Birmingham; Selfridges Accessories Hall: Oxford Street, London; Kate Spade New York: Regent Street, London; Issey Miyake: Brook Street, London; and Tiffany & Co: Sloane Street, London, amongst others.

A recent project for Portview is Butlers Chocolate Café in Dublin 4.

Having established a strong relationship with Butlers over the years, Portview has added another bespoke gem to the chocolatier’s portfolio, with a delicious new chocolate café that marks a new hallmark in Butlers’ hospitality offering.

From the outset, Portview engaged in extensive consultation with Butlers to develop the design and deliver a dynamic space where customers can indulge in their favourite sweet treats, whilst sipping on a velvety cappuccino and socialising with friends. The space features a redial custom-made patterned floor; high ceilings; bespoke curved surfaces; beautiful lighting; a feature bulkhead, and new branding and signage.

A rich colour palette of chocolate and caramel tones is expressed in the woodwork, whilst lighter shades in the stone worktops and flooring balance the overall look.

In addition to the brand’s recognised fine beverages and sweet treats including barista prepared hot and cold beverages, Portview has fitted a new integrated prep area for the purpose of serving customers a contemporary new artisan sandwich range; freshly made in store.

Simon Campbell, Managing Director of Portview, said:

“Client experience is at the heart of everything we do and at Portview we strive to deliver exceptional results, every time. Thanks to this, we have evolved into an internationally recognised fit-out specialist that has successfully completed works for world renowned brands in London, New York, Karachi, and Paris.”

Simon added:

“Our steadfast belief is that a client should never compromise on their creative vision. That’s why we employ the best professionals in the business to make the seemingly impossible, entirely achievable. For this reason, clients view Portview as an indispensable part of their team and return time and time again for subsequent works, resulting in a repeat business rate of 75%.”

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