Popular Athlone pub gutted by fire last year is set to be rebuilt

Only five months after it was completely gutted by fire, Charlies Bar on the Dublin Road looks set to rise from the ashes.

A newly published planning notice has confirmed that the popular pub is set to be rebuilt.

Seamus Maylnn will shortly submit a proposal seeking council approval to demolish the existing premises also known as Charlie Browns public house and an associated bookmakers.

In its place, the applicant wants to construct a new public house with an ATM, along with all associated site works.

The applicant has a fortnight to formally lodge plans with Westmeath County Council following the publication of the planning notice.

Last September, the couple who had run the pub for nine years vowed to come "back bigger and stronger” after an early morning blaze gutted the popular hostelry and an adjacent bookies. They spoke of their heartbreak in a post on the Charlie's Bar Facebook page, before thanking everyone who supported them with “water, food, love and support" following the devastating blaze.

Gardaí were alerted when a person saw flames coming from the building, just across the road from Athlone IT around 5.30am on September 12.

Three units of Athlone Fire Brigade rushed to the scene but the blaze had taken hold of the buildings by the time they arrived, and flames could be seen coming from the roof in dramatic scenes that provoked much sadness locally at the time.

Reflecting the widespread shock at the fire which destroyed the popular student haunt, TUS Students Union said at the time on social media they were “deeply devastated” to hear the sad news.

Trading for several decades, the popular pub beloved by students was known as Charlie Brown's and Brendan's Bar in the past. The betting office was a more recent addition.