Brought to you by the Blue Haven Collection.
It’s a rare good news story from Cork’s embattled hospitality industry.
In the face of the biggest challenge the business has ever faced, Kinsale’s popular Hamlet’s bar and restaurant rolled out a re-invention that has seen them adapt their entire business model for the ‘new normal’.
Happily, it’s working.
As bars, cafés and restaurants grappled with a raft of restrictions designed to protect customers, General Manager Jason Sleator and his Blue Haven Collection team deftly escalated a mammoth plan to launch Hamlets Street Food and Gastro Garden, the biggest alfresco venue in the seaside town and the first venture of its kind in Cork.
Top of the range heaters were fired up to ward off the evening chill in the covered outdoor area. Comfortable seating was installed, key to creating a relaxing, luxurious space for guests to enjoy the brand new menu; a tantalising assortment of barbecued favourites and wood-fired pizzas.
A trendy Gourmet Food Truck opened for business in the courtyard, dishing up casual dishes such as Kinsale Pale Ale-battered Prawn Tacos and Korean Fried Chicken – designed to be enjoyed alongside a creative cocktail list, shaken to order by the in-house mixologist.
In a tourism season marred by closures, cancellations and strict rules, the venue offered a sweet sip of normality and fun, safely packaged in a carefully managed, socially-distanced experience.
With the new tried-and-tested system in place and running like clockwork, Hamlets Street Food and Gastro Garden is gearing up for a busy autumn and winter. A new streetscape design is set to transform the exterior of the venue, making the lure of a cosy table inside irresistible.
In the meantime, the atmosphere is lively; violinist Conor Galvin drops by every Saturday evening to entertain diners, who can enjoy the evening menu until 9pm from Sunday to Friday and until 9.30pm on Saturdays.
The new menu is extensive; there are unique signature burgers from the chargrill (The Carnivore Challenge involves a quadruple-stacked bacon cheeseburger served with onion rings and barbecue sauce), hefty West Cork Beef koftas and hot dogs.
Every pizza is hand-stretched and wood-fired to order and oozing with Macroom mozzarella and locally sourced toppings such as Rosscarbery pork shoulder, chemical-free leaves and wild Irish mushrooms.
You can take a look before you visit here.
The Gastro Garden is open seven days a week from 12 midday and if you’re staycationing locally, you can also click and collect takeout meals from the street food menu to enjoy at home (or while watching the sunset on the Pier). Place your order online here.