You've probably seen tram cafes in other cities around the world, and now we can add Dublin to the list. In Brussels, Melbourne and Berlin they're mobile restaurants where you dine while travelling along the tracks - however our very own Tram Cafe has a permanent home in Wolfe Tone Square.
Given the trouble the Luas has had linking up the two lines, it's probably better that the new cafe has a fixed abode. Wolfe Tone Square will benefit from it greatly, especially during the summer months with people spilling out from Jervis Street and Henry Street looking for somewhere to sit with some coffee and cake.
The first thing that strikes you about Tram Cafe is that it is absolutely tiny. It seats about 12 people at the very most inside, with another 20 or so outside. That's a tough business model to make work but hopefully we'll get some actual heatwaves that will have the terrace packed all summer.
The Tram Cafe actually has a great story...
Once upon a time there was an old, worn Tram in a field in Co. Cavan. A man called Dave spotted it, and fell in love. Dave had an idea for the Tram. He saw a buzzy, busy café, filled with good food, nostalgic 1920s music, sunshine and laughter. He set about finding a builder to restore the Tram to its former glory, and a location to showcase its beauty.
Restoration of the Tram, and finding a home in historic Wolfe Tone Square in Dublin 1, took almost three years. Dave and John tendered to Dublin City Council for the opportunity to locate the Tram in this historic part of the City Centre. Because of the unique sensitivity of the location as a former graveyard, archeologists were employed during the installation of services. The Tram itself was completely refurbished off site. It was lifted into position on a Sunday, and opened for business on a Monday the 25th of April 2016.
The Tram Cafe website
Now as could be expected, the tram and the food and drink prep areas are quite small so the menu is limited. They have some nice cakes, salads, soups and sandwiches and juices to enjoy in the sun.
The addition of alcohol would be brilliant - imagine having a cold beer with your lunch in the summer sun.
The Tram Cafe is a lovely addition to the city, and fair play to them for having the vision and drive to make this happen. Dublin is certainly a better looking place for it. Visit The Tram Cafe to see for yourself!