Re: Re: Bewleys
Agreed – it is the institution that is important; ironically the basis of the cafe’s existance, coffee, is irrelevant here.
Service and product can be tweaked (overhauled more like) fairly easily.
I’ve been talking to various older people about Bewley’s and they all have stories to tell etc, but notably every problem comes back to Campbells.
People remember the quality cakes that used to be sold both in the cafes and take away ones, and the quality coffee & service. Admittedly they all say Bewley’s was always expensive, but you were paying for quality.
But the quality went down the tubes and prices remained the same.
And I think that’s backed up by what younger people have been saying too, that the place is a rip-off. Not being around when the place was somewhere special, they don’t distingush Bewley’s from any other standard self-service outlet, but are paying far higher prices.
The older china on display on the Nationwide programme (typical of RTE it was raced through and glossed over as quickly as possible), esp the red-decorated pre-war type is an element that should be reintroduced – as to the practicality I don’t know, but to bring back some individuality is essential – the fact that your’re served some coffees in a standard 2 star hotel catering cup is ridiculous.
It is the instituition and maintance of cafe-use that is important for Grafton St – for Westmoreland I can see the magical Fleet Room being successfully incorporated into the hotel, while the rest of the place can be altered. That central cafe area was like a hospital canteen.