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Retro Mobile Espresso Bar Fadó Arrives in Cork

From a converted 1970’s van, the newly opened Fadó offers the people of Cork locally produced speciality coffee and a selection of tasty organic treats

Opening this summer in Douglas, Fadó Mobile Espresso Bar was founded by two Cork natives and childhood friends with a passion for coffee and conversation. 

Ian Whelan of Douglas and Peter McCabe of Kanturk, wanted to create a space where the local community in Douglas could get a quality cup of coffee and meet for a decent conversation. This inspired the name Fadó, which is Gaelic for “long time ago” or “once upon a time” and is often associated with story-telling and the fables of Irish history.

Fadó operates from a 1976 former Dutch creperie van, which Ian converted himself with some friends. Fadó serves a selection of speciality coffees, teas and fresh organic pastries with prices starting from as little as €2.60 for an Americano. Those who prefer non-dairy milks need not worry about those elusive extra charges, as Fadó offers no extra charge for milk alternatives. 

With a focus on quality coffee, sustainability and supporting local suppliers, Fadó hosts a variety of Cork favourites including established speciality coffee roasters Badger & Dodo which is roasted in Fermoy, O’Conaills Hot Chocolate from Carrigaline, Barry’s Tea and local milk producers from West Cork. Making a conscious effort to minimise their environmental impact where possible, Fadó uses 100% compostable cups, lids, stirrers and napkins. 

Commenting on what motivated him to start the business, Founder, Ian Whelan says;

“I say it’s a coffee habit gone too far, but to be honest I’ve always had a keen interest in coffee and running my own business and it was my mother who encouraged me to pursue this venture. I had already made a start on the van when mum passed away suddenly in March of this year. It was around that time when I really threw myself into working on the renovations and found it helped me through a very tough period. Our logo is actually a tribute to her memory – it’s her fingerprint intertwined with a coffee bean.”

“My mum was my biggest supporter when it came to Fadó, she was integral to the creative process so I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved so far. This whole journey is for her really, it’s what keeps me going.”

Fadó is currently open Wednesday – Saturday from 8:30am until 2:30pm in St. Patrick’s Woollen Mills, Douglas (T12PTW9) situated in the car park on the right as you come in. It is a pet-friendly space with a dedicated doggy station including free treats, water and waste bags. There is a spacious outdoor seating area to swap stories with friends or chat to the staff who will happily drop your coffee to your car if the weather turns.

The Fadó Mobile Espresso Van is also available to hire for events including weddings, private parties and corporate functions. Find out more information via Instagram @fadocoffeecork or by email

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