On a recent trip to Castletownbere Mary O’Brien stopped off at Organico to recharge with a cup of ‘Butter Coffee’ and check out the newly renovated cafe. Proprietors and sisters Hannah and Rachel Dare have extended and remodelled to create a new downstairs area with an urban industrial feel that would be at home in any major city. It’s West Cork meets Berlin or even New York.
The remodelling took a very efficient five weeks to complete. Rachel Dare designed the interior; the architectural steel lighting, originally property of Tower Records, comes from a salvage yard in Dublin, the varnished concrete and wooden floors, big windows, original stone white painted walls, Ikea chairs in pop colours, large hanging customised mono prints, and buckets of freshly cut flowers all combine to give a real bohemian feel to the new café space. But, as customers will tell you, one of the most attractive things about Organico is that it’s inviting to all. You could just as easily be seated next to the farmer from down the road as the hippie from over the hill or local business person.
The new kitchen is open plan (customers can pick up a few tips from watching Rachel create her magic in the kitchen!) and the bakery has been relocated to the basement. Organico Bakery specialises in Spelt baking using organic flour and also delicious loaves using organic wheat flours. “The new space has given us the opportunity to experiment,” explains proprietor Hannah Dare. We’ve been creating new sourdough breads without yeast and yesterday we baked a lemon meringue pie.” With seats for 50 downstairs and 30 upstairs, this is Bantry’s new super café — an oasis in the middle of the busy town.
The main focus of the menu is still vegetarian with falafels and ginger dressed seaweed salad very popular, but as Hannah points out “I love to be able to take that look of panic off someone’s face and tick all the boxes.” Organico serves a number of fish options including organic salmon and Sally Barnes’ smoked mackerel and hake and the fish cakes are always sold out early. For the plainer eater, there is also ham kept in the fridge, but in Hannah’s experience, once children out the different flavours and textures on the menu, they really enjoy the food.
Organico serves McCabes organic coffee, adjusting the grind three times a day to serve the ‘perfect’ cup of coffee. Butter Coffee is starting to take off in Ireland, the combination of butter and coconut oil in the coffee is proven to improve concentration and increase energy. Loose teas are shipped all the way from Canada and the water is filtered so fluoride-free.
Upstairs will soon have a large play area for kids and next year will be fully transformed in to a café gallery providing a great space for artists to show their work and give talks to the public.
Organico Café, 2 Glengarriff Road, Bantry is open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday. 027 51391. www.organico.ie.