Bewley’s Café, Dublin has lost a court case against its landlord to prevent a hike in its rent and now faces a bill of 1.5 billion (£1.2bn).   

The Grafton street premises won a landmark victory last year against the hike, but that has now been turned around by the Supreme Court.

Management at Bewley’s were disappointed with the verdict, but will now consider the judgement with lawyers.

Group chief executive John Cahill said: “All we have sought to achieve is an acknowledgement of economic reality and fair treatment with a rent that reflects market values.”

It was reported that the Supreme Court was dealing with matter contained in a lease signed in 1987, which allowed for upward-only rent movement. This meant the lease did not bargain for revisions in rent, which would take into account market conditions.

Business lobby group Retail Excellence Ireland said the decision was bad for jobs and investment in the domestic economy.

The lobby group claimed that, in the seven years to 2007, commercial rents in Ireland had increased by 240% while consumer prices had risen by 30%.