Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Dukes get the nod. And the thumbs-up! Plus a coffee coincidence at Coach House Café .

Dukes get the nod. And the thumbs-up! 

Plus coffee coincidence at Coach House Café 

A snap decision to check out Dukes in Carey’s Lane (Cork) for a light lunch paid off handsomely last Friday. We had quite a few choices in the narrow streets of the Huguenot Quarter before Dukes got the nod.

Being Friday, there was a queue, not a big one, but rather one that was constantly replenished by incoming customers. All worked smoothly, no fuss, no noises other than the orders and the responses, all calm, and politeness on both sides.


We read the boards as we waited and also the display cabinets. Soon it was our turn. CL checked that the Brunch Menu was still available (it was, but closed minutes later). We ordered, just the one course each, and headed for our table with the stand-up numbered sign.

Settled in, took our jackets off, put our glasses on, checked the phones and, in no time at all, our dishes arrived. 

CL’s pancakes, from that Brunch Menu, were colourful with plenty of fruit (strawberries and blueberries) and no shortage of maple syrup (bacon was an alternative accompaniment). In any case, the fruit, syrup and pancakes, an excellent combination, were well received and enjoyable and efficiently dispatched.

Chicken and Bacon Ciabatta

Indeed, she was waiting for me to finish up rather than the more usual opposite. But there was no pressure, never is. In fact, it was an excuse to pass over to her a decent sample of my Chicken and Bacon Ciabatta with Dubliner Cheddar and Ballymaloe Relish and the unexpected and very tasty salad (not listed on the menu). This item came from the regular lunch list and was very satisfactory indeed, getting thumbs up from both sides of the table.

The coffee has a high reputation here but unfortunately, we didn't have the extra time to indulge and had to make do with our glasses of water (even though I spotted local beer in the fridge. Next time.)

Dukes is a family-owned and family-run business which has been serving exceptional coffee and food to the people of Cork since 2005. “Since day one, the Dukes philosophy has been to create inclusive, welcoming, comfortable spaces. We currently operate two cafes in Cork, one on Carey's Lane and one in City Gate, Mahon we also run a catering business.”

Menu (French Church Street 25.08.2023)

A Coffee Coincidence

I had spotted in Dukes that their upstairs room is called Newsom Lounge but thought no more of it until 24 hours later when I walked into the Coach House Café in the grounds of Blarney Castle and saw, on the inside wall close to the blackboard, a big sign, an old one, with Newsom’s in large letters followed by Coffee Essence in slighter smaller letters.

Newsom and Sons, tea and coffee merchants, first opened in Cork in 1816, located at 40 and 41 Patrick Street (later occupied by Woolworths and now Permanent TSB) and their warehouses were in Carey’s Lane, now Dukes Café. 

James Joyce, or at least his father, had a fondness for Newsom’s apparently - see Irish Examiner article by Flicka Small. 

Dukes French Church St. (Duke's pic)

Duke’s Coffee Company, 4 Carey’s Lane, Cork. 

Carey's Lane, T12 X732, CORK +353 021 4905877

Also at The Plaza, City Gate, Mahon, T12CR23, CORK +353 021 4350139

Check more details (including menus) at www.dukes.ie

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