People said it would never work.
But images of Cork’s fully pedestrianised and rain-proofed outdoor dining area on Princes Street are now earning high praise from fans all over the country.
With four more umbrella-covered streets in the pipeline, the relaxed vibe and festive atmosphere has tourists clamouring to book hotel rooms in the real capital.
— Yay Cork (@yaycork) June 12, 2021
“Cork suddenly feels SO continental European.” tweeted @lelaurajane. “Can’t wait to stroll these streets and suss out the new scene.”
“Pre-pandemic, one of the reasons we travelled to other countries was for these outdoor eating experiences. Now we have it on our doorsteps & gradually eyes, imaginations & brains are creaking open to the possibilities.” said @byjoeb.
“We moved back from Italy five years ago and hugely missed the piazzas… thrilled to see Ireland now embracing the outdoor dining game with such style!” added Amber Brown.
Cork leads the way
Other commenters lamented the lack of stylish outdoor dining options in their own towns, holding Cork’s Princes Street up as an example of how it’s done.
“Well done to Cork for creating this street. Couldn’t something like this be easily replicated on the Main Street in Portlaoise?” asked Laois doctor Pauline Flanagan.
Up in Dublin, they are similarly impressed: “Well done Cork. Why can’t they do this in Dalkey, even if it’s just at weekends?” said local Paul Smith.
In Galway, the move to alfresco service has been slow, although phased initiatives are underway in the evenings on William Street West and the Small Crane.
“Some planning, coordination and design makes all the difference. It’s as easy to do it right @GalwayCityCo.” tweeted @PMCD2010.
Olivia Collins agreed: “Could we not have done something like this in Galway? I’m sure the Princes’ st residents had similar issues that were outcome with a bit of imagination.”
With new parasols and awnings on the way to four more Cork streets, including Caroline Street, Union Quay, Pembroke Street and Beasley Street, it looks like Cork will continue to be front and centre when it comes to dining outdoors throughout summer 2021.