Bewley's Grafton Street cafe reopens after brush with permanent closure

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Digital Desk staff

The famous Bewley's cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin reopened its doors to customers this morning following a brush with permanent closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cafe, which has been operating in the city centre since 1927, closed earlier this year due to the Covid-19 lockdown and announced in May that it would be permanently closing due the impact of virus on the business, with the loss of 110 jobs.

However, at the end of July the business reconsidered the closure and announced a phased reopening plan instead, with its doors opening at 10am this morning.

Three generations of the Campbell family are involved in the business, with owner of the cafe Paddy Campbell welcoming the reopening: “Like many of you, lockdown gave me a lot of time to think and reflect on what’s precious in this life.

I’m 78 years old, born and bred in inner-city Dublin. I’ve lived through many recessions and recoveries and seen Ireland grow and change, for the good and for the not-so-good. And what emerged from my turmoil was the determination that this recovery from Covid should be culture and values led.

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"I’m 78 years old, born and bred in inner-city Dublin. I’ve lived through many recessions and recoveries and seen Ireland grow and change, for the good and for the not-so-good. And what emerged from my turmoil was the determination that this recovery from Covid should be culture and values led.

"I’m so proud of the contribution that our beloved Bewley’s cafe has made to the life of our city and country - as a gathering place, a crucible for the arts, a second home... We’ve lost so much that was unique and authentic to our community and we are all poorer for it. This time, the economic story cannot be the sole focus as we rebuild ourselves.

Photo courtesy of Bewley’s Grafton Street.

"And so, we will pay the heavy price… to live our values, preserve our heritage, and keep this beautiful cafe open in the beating heart of Dublin. We look forward to welcoming our wonderful customers back through the doors from today.”

The cafe will initially reopen with with table service and a limited menu, including teas, coffees, pastries and sticky buns.

The space has been modified to allow for reduced capacity and social distancing, while reservations can be made at the cafe's door.

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The cafe has said that "the team are all familiar faces from before the closure who have been rehired".

The cafe will be open from 10am to 2pm today and tomorrow, then from 10am to 5pm from Saturday August 29th onwards.

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