CORK's restaurant scene is set for a boost over the coming weeks and months, with more than half a dozen new names set to enter the market.
The highly-anticipated arrival of Dublin burger chain Bunsen to French Church Street this weekend is the first of many new eateries popping up in the city over the coming weeks.
Hugely popular in the capital, Bunsen will face intense competition locally, battling for a slice of a market dominated by Son of a Bun and Coqbull. But, if the queues that met its opening on South Anne Street in Dublin last February are anything to go by, Bunsen is sure to be a hit on Leeside. Eagle-eyed shoppers in the city centre will also have spotted a new arrival making its way toward Academy Street.
Umi Falafel, a Dublin-based falafel chain, are set to move into numbers 11 and 12 on the street, formerly run as Zamora tapas bar.
Posters are up and work is ongoing at the restaurant, but Umi have kept details under wraps, simply asking falafel fans to 'stay tuned' for updates. On the higher end of the scale, Rachel's is set to shake things up on Washington Street. The first named venture from chef Rachel Allen, it will open on March 20. Few details have been released about the revamped restaurant which will occupy the former Doran's Interiors furniture store, but it is expected to include a 30-seat private dining section, a wood-fired oven, a smoke pit and a drying chamber for ageing beef. Foodies on Washington Street won't have to go too far to find other options if they can't get a table, though, with the Spitjack due to open in the Spring.
A rotisserie, the restaurant will open in 34 Washington Street shortly, with refit works ongoing at present. These two sites are just a few metres from Makan, another entrant into Cork's jammed Asian street food scene, coming from Ramen founder Zuul Basir. Koto, another Asian-style eatery, occupied numbers 6 and 7 Carey's Lane recently, which ran as Aroi until a fire forced its closure almost two years ago.
These new arrivals follow Zambrero, a recently-opened Mexican outlet at Orchard Gardens in Dennehy's Cross; Boojum burrito bar on Winthrop Street; and Cask, a very chic wine, gin and tapas bar on MacCurtain Street.