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Food News

15th Sep 2023

10 openers, 2 closures, and 1 reopener to be aware of in Dublin right now

Katy Thornton

Wall to wall Rathmines openings, and saying farewell to two class cafés.

While we can rejoice in the fact there are five times the amount of openers as there are closures, it’s always a bit gutting to see hospitality spots close in this city, especially two that opened amid the pandemic such as Hipkey café in Sandyford and Beach Brew in Portmarnock.

With the hospitality VAT level returning from 9% to 13.5%, our concern is that the closures will begin to rise even more, but for now we’ve got to celebrate openers when we see them.

So if you need to catch up with all of the openers and closures news from Dublin over the last couple of weeks, this is what you might have missed.

Hipkey Café

Closure

Hipkey café made the sad announcement on Friday that the weekend just passed would be their last.

Opening in April 2021, and nestled within the depths of Sandyford Industrial Estate, this café was sweet for more reasons than just their delicious pastries, and they will be hugely missed.

3fe

Opener 

Seven months after re-opening cult favourite brunch spot 3fe Gertrude on Pearse Street, the coffee roasters/café have officially launched in Phibsborough.

Everything you love from the other 3fe locations will also be available at their Phibsborough café, including chorizo and Romesco hash, complete with rosemary potatoes, chorizo, courgette, spinach, poached eggs, and Romesco sauce, and the fried chicken thigh bap, which naturally comes with fried chicken thighs, dressed slaw, 3fe hot sauce mayo, pickled cucumber on a brioche bap.

Kasi

Opener

Next time you’re perusing Temple Bar and looking for somewhere to eat, why not Kasi Cafe, a new Indian street food spot that has just opened, with a menu jam-packed with some gorgeous samples of this cuisine.

Occupying the space where Sweet Churros used to be, this cafe officially launched on August 29th, with a delicious menu packed full of Indian street food and bites.

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A post shared by Kasi Cafe (@kasicafedublin)

Beach Brew

Closure

Beach Brew café, based in Portmarnock, have announced that they are closing after three years in business.

They shared the news on Instagram, saying that this weekend would be their last, and they would officially be saying goodbye on Sunday, September 17th.

The Dunmore

Opener

The Strand Inn at Dunmore are opening a new venture, outside the perimeter of the Crystal County, and in none other than, you guessed it, Rathmines.

It’s a popular place for hospitality, so it’s no wonder The Strand Inn wanted to open their latest venture there.

So far there is little info on the new restaurant, but if it echoes that of the one based in The Strand Inn hotel, we can expect fresh seafood and local produce to be at the forefront of the operation.

Matsuwaka

Opener

Matsuwaka has opened where Woke Cup Cafe used to be and has been completely transformed to suit its new purpose; high-ceilinged and compact, the space is dominated by a high table facing the all-important preparation area.

Chef Takuma Tamaoki (formerly of Galway’s Wa Sushi) is behind the Matsuwaka counter delicately forming rice and slicing aged and preserved tidy sections of fish. A lot of thought has been placed into every shelf, countertop and table, everything is thought-out and well-considered.

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A post shared by Matsukawa (@matsukawa.ie)

Board and Brewed

Opener

Dublin’s first dedicated board game café will lift its shutters on Dún Laoghaire’s York Street at the end of this month, boasting an already robust collection of games which they’re currently looking to expand.

Aptly named Board and Brewed, the café promises to offer a hub where people can take a break from the digital world over coffee, croissants and a round of Connect 4.

Oakberry

Opener 

After six months of keeping us in suspense, global açaí bowl spot Oakberry finally opened their Dublin premises on Friday September 8th on South Anne Street.

Oakberry is a healthy fast food outlet, with locations all over the world; on a journey to promote açaí, Oakberry have set up roots in Dubai, Shanghai, Spain, Australia, France, Portugal, the States, the UK, and many more countries globally.

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Mad Yolks

Opener

Once again Rathmines has been blessed, this time with Mad Yolks, the Smithfield egg bap shop that is the closest thing we have to the UK’s Eggslut.

Soon the Rathmines locals will be able to feast on egg, bacon, and black pudding stacked breakfast baps, maybe accompanying it with a side of hash browns (some of the crispiest you’ve ever seen) or halloumi fries with harissa yoghurt.

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The Legal Eagle

Re-opener 

After three years, The Legal Eagle reopened last week for the first time since the pandemic.

The Chancery Place gastropub closed with the rest of hospitality in March 2020, and despite reopening briefly in June 2020, with lockdowns and restrictions, they decided to close for indoor dining for the remainder of that year.

While they continued to put together takeaway food boxes, and focus on the other restaurants within their hospitality group into 2021 (The Winding Stairs, The Woollen Mills, The Washer Woman, and The Yarn), as well as allowing craft beer mecca Underdog take over for a period of time in 2022, this will be the first time they are back in the kitchen for indoor dining in over three years.

Cluck Chicken

Opener

After over a year of suspense, Cluck Chicken are finally opening their brick and mortar location in Tallaght.

The chicken shop first took to socials to share the news of their D24 opener in May 2022, following on from the success of their Walkinstown food truck, which opened in 2020. The spot was initially meant to open last summer, but for reasons unknown was stalled, only building more and more hype with every passing month.

The Tallaght chicken shop officially opened for business on Thursday, September 7; a great new addition to D24.

Bunsen

Opener

For those who opt for a thick, neatly compacted patty as standard, we come bearing good news – Bunsen look just about ready to open their eighth Dublin location in Phibsboro, right across the road from the shopping centre.

An opening date for the the new location is yet to be confirmed, but a peep inside the plastic-clad windows would suggest we won’t be long waiting.

Honourable Mention:

Tarbh

Rebranding

Tarbh, the beef centric restaurant that took over from The Pigeon House in Clontarf, have announced they are rebranding into something entirely different – a modern and innovative Chinese restaurant that will go by the name of Jade.

According to their announcement, “Jade is going to serve stunning food using the best Irish ingredients & the best Chinese cooking” and has been described as one of “Dublin’s most innovative & diverse Chinese restaurants.”

The new premises will have chefs who have worked in some of Hong Kong’s best kitchens to produce truly authentic Chinese cuisine.

So this isn’t so much an opener or closure as it is a rebrand, but we thought we’d give it a shoutout all the same. While Tarbh will surely be missed, we’re excited to see what Jade has in store.

Header images via Instagram / Mad Yolks & / Oakberry

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