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Family Friendly Espresso Bar Opens New Premises On The Pier In Kilkee And Launches Quirky Crowd-pleasing Beachside Menu

The Espresso Bar – a quirky family friendly café on the Wild Atlantic Way – has just moved into new larger premises on the pier in Kilkee by the sea, Co.Clare. And, to mark the recent opening, they’ve launched a crowd-pleasing new ‘Grab & Go’ Beachside Menu that is set to capture the hearts of locals and holiday makers alike.

The café, originally set up by Owner, Judi Kinnane, in the summer of 2018 for an initial three month trial period before becoming a permanent fixture as part of the Oceanlife Dive Centre, has proven to be a huge hit with residents and visitors to the popular seaside town. On any given day The Espresso Bar caters to everyone from beach-going families, to walkers, sea swimmers and the local scuba divers. Their new location has seen them take up residence in a newly refurbished larger unit with added outdoor seating beside their previous premises, just a stone’s throw from the pier and with views gazing out across the beautiful bay.

The Espresso Bar doesn’t do things by halves. Their specialty takeaway coffees are made using a custom blend that they’ve specially developed in partnership with Tipperary-based roasters, The Old Barracks, in Birdhill. Signature Ferrero Rocher Cappuccinos are served with homemade Belgian Chocolate Hazelnut Bark, Caramel Lattes are topped with Callebaut Chocolate Blossoms, and Real Deal Hot Chocolates are served with real Irish cream and handmade toasted marshmallows. And, visitors to their hatch can order from a long list of mouthwatering ice cream creations including The Biscoff Waffle Basket, soft serve Salted Caramel & Vanilla Twists and Affogatos – double espresso poured over ripples of ice cream served in an edible cup. These flow all day long from their brand new top of the range three-nozzle Carpigiani ice cream machine, which has been imported all the way from Italy (the only one of its kind currently in operation in the Republic of Ireland).

The tempting ‘Good Morning Kilkee’ breakfast menu includes the likes of a Full Irish Sourdough Breakfast Baguette, a Hearty Kilkee Pork & Black Pudding Sausage Roll, and freshly baked Pastries to name but a few.

Lunch choices consist of the imaginatively named sandwiches, the Hot And Steamy Italian Stallion – roasted red pepper, spinach, cured meats, Macroom buffalo mozzarella, basil pesto, Ballymaloe tomato relish, and tapenade – served on local Considine’s Bakery’s doorstep bead, The Bloody Big Croque (their own take on a Croque Monsieur – also served on Considine’s doorstep bread), and The Chick Magnet – artisan Irish sourdough baguette from Limerick-based Baker, Our Daily Bread, filled with Chipotle Smokey Breast of Irish Chicken, freshly made Cucumber Pickle, Grated Cheddar and Shredded Iceberg Lettuce. These are served alongside freshly baked Decadent Irish Smoked Salmon Stuffed Croissants with shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumber pickle, Ballymaloe mayonnaise, Judi’s own homemade remoulade and capers, and a Falafel Tartine. 

Those with a sweet tooth will be attracted by a list of homemade treats comprising of a moreish Nutella & S’mores Stuffed Croissant, a Chocolate Orange Rocky Road, a Matcha Minty Slice and their signature Espresso Bar 15’s (house biscuit), with Fruit & Nutty Clusters and Chia Raw Energy Balls available for people wanting a healthy sweet hit.

Where possible The Espresso Bar sources its produce as locally as it can to help support other small businesses. In addition to specialty coffee being supplied by The Old Barracks artisan roastery in Birdhill, its teas come from another Tipperary-based business, Tea4You, 100% Irish reared meats from Butchers, Shane Hickey (Kilkee) and Noel Ryan (Kilrush), bread from Considine’s Bakery (also Kilrush) and freshly baked baguettes from Our Daily Bread in Limerick.

Commenting on the move to the new premises and the launch of their new Grab & Go menu, Owner, Judi Kinnane, said: “We are delighted with the new space. With a team behind the scenes working through the winter and with great support from suppliers and the local community, we have pulled it off.  It has been great fun creating the new menu in this gorgeous space with the beautiful view and we are thrilled with the reaction from our customers.”

Ever since Judi opened The Espresso Bar in the summer of 2018, she has made a conscious effort to do everything she can to limit her business’s impact on the local environment. From the get-go she can proudly say that every takeaway coffee cup, knife, fork, ice cream pot, napkin, bag (and more!) handed out to her customers has been 100% compostable, and all of The Espresso Bar’s drinks cans and glass bottles are fully recyclable. The Espresso Bar even goes as far as to use completely chemical-free products to clean its premises top to bottom.

Throughout the remainder of the Summer season (July & August) The Espresso Bar will be open Monday to Thursday, 9am – 6pm, and Friday to Sunday, 9am to 8pm (6pm to 8pm is served from the hatch only).

Come Autumn, the opening hours will revert to Monday to Thursday, 10am – 4pm, and 10am – 6pm Friday to Sunday. 

Judi Kinnane’s Story

In 2018 Limerick-born Judi Kinnane decided to leave behind a high flying 17 year career in HR – most recently as a globe-trotting Talent Acquisition Director – to move to the west coast and build a brand new life for herself in the popular seaside town of Kilkee, Co. Clare. In doing so she swapped a morning commute that regularly involved a seat on the ‘red-eye’ to Heathrow and beyond for a short stroll across the beach from her home to her new business venture, The Espresso Bar.

What initially started as a three month trial on the pier for the summer of 2018, very quickly struck a chord with her immediate neighbours, the Oceanlife Dive Centre, coffee fanatics, and the local community as a whole, and thus The Espresso Bar became a permanent fixture. Over the course of 2019 – 2020, at the same time as running the cafe, Judi somehow found the time to complete a Post Graduate in Food Management & Innovation at the Limerick Institute of Technology – a move which has enabled her to grow her fledgling business and take it to the next level. Throughout the whole of the pandemic, and despite the massive drop in footfall to Kilkee during that period, The Espresso Bar remained open the whole time, providing locals with some sense of normality, routine and most importantly, human interaction. A small gesture in the grand scheme of things but something that provided Judi’s customers with a huge sense of comfort during those uncertain times. The recent move to the new premises has allowed her to further extend The Espresso Bar’s offering and put in place the kind of menu and dishes that will form many happy holiday memories.

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