“We have absolutely loved it… Cork is very special” – Kemp sisters move on from city centre restaurant

A long standing relationship with Brown Thomas and Arnotts has seen the Kemp sisters establish foodie spots across different stores in the group
“We have absolutely loved it… Cork is very special” – Kemp sisters move on from city centre restaurant

Peaches and Domini Kemp.

AFTER 16 years in business, Peaches and Domini Kemp are handing over the reins of what was the Table Restaurant in Cork’s Brown Thomas branch, as it reopens later this month as the French-inspired Brown’s Brasserie.

Kemp sisters Peaches and Domini have spent more than two decades cultivating their passion for food into successful business ventures across Ireland, from small beginnings in their first itsa bagel shop in Dublin in 1999.

A long standing relationship with Brown Thomas and Arnotts has seen the Kemp sisters establish foodie spots across different stores in the group, from itsa in Arnotts in Dublin, to restaurants in Brown Thomas in both Dublin city centre and Dundrum.

The business relationship with Brown Thomas was first sparked 16 years ago when the Kemp sisters came to Cork, to set up Table Restaurant on the second floor on Patrick Street.

As the sisters hand over the Cork restaurant to new operators, they look back fondly over years doing business down Leeside.

“We have absolutely loved it,” Peaches Kemp told The Echo.

“When I used to drive down to Cork, I just felt like it was coming back to a place you call home. Even though I live in Dublin, there’s something just so lovely about Cork,” she said.

“I have a huge amount of friends from Cork, and there’s something very special about the people, our customers and the people that we worked with,” she added.

Ms Kemp said that what stands out most is the community spirit which they found in Cork doing business over the years.

“There’s something very engaging and lovely and kind about Corkonians. Cork is very special,” she said.

'INCREDIBLE STAFF'

Ms Kemp added that their secret to success over the last 16 years has been their “incredible” staff, all of whom are remaining working at the restaurant as new operators take over in the coming weeks.

“I think what we saw in Table was passion that was put into the service in the front of house, and in the food by the chefs that worked with us over the years … that’s a real reflection on them,” she said, mentioning in particular Marleen Leonard, who has been working in the restaurant since it first opened in 2006.

“She is just an amazing person who we were very lucky to work with, and who our customers have loved,” said Ms Kemp.

After an “amazing tenure” of more than a decade and a half, Ms Kemp said that it is time for she and her sister to “make way for somebody else” to take over the running of the city centre restaurant.

“All things have to change… we all have to reinvent and do different things, so it’s time to make way for somebody else. We do that with grace, and wishing them all the very best,” said Ms Kemp.

Currently closed for a refit, Brown Thomas has announced that its new restaurant, Brown’s Brasserie, will be opening on Friday 18th November, which promises to showcase the best of local produce, inspired by the finest French cuisine.

Brown Thomas has promised that customers will be able to enjoy relaxed, sophisticated all day dining in new surroundings, “encompassing style and energy in equal measure”.

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