TwoBoys Brew

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TICKET - 375 North Cir­cu­lar Road Dublin 7 twoboys­brew.ie

“Where in Dublin are the most lies told?” was a rid­dle a friend ques­tioned me with re­cently. “Fib... fib­bers…. Phib­s­bor­ough!” I shouted, as I worked it out aloud. Well, when it comes to Two Boys Brew, the lat­est cafe to open in this north­side bor­ough, barely a 15-minute walk from Par­nell Street, I can hon­estly say it’s one of the most promis­ing new cafes to open in the city in the last year.

Kevin Roche and Tau­rean Cough­lan are the two boys in ques­tion, and they opened up shop on the North Cir­cu­lar Road in July, al­most eight weeks ex­actly be­fore I make my first visit. Roche and Cough­lan lived in Mel­bourne for over four years, and fell in love with the cof­fee cul­ture over there, a cul­ture that has been hugely in­flu­en­tial in the re­cent growth of the Ir­ish cof­fee scene. “We used to go to a dif­fer­ent place for brunch ev­ery week­end,” ex­plains Roche of Mel­bourne life.

They moved home in Christ­mas 2014, and were pleas­antly sur­prised to find that the cof­fee cul­ture here was a vi­brant area of growth in the city. Roche, who has a back­ground in con­struc­tion and de­sign, de­cided to commit to a long-term dream of open­ing up a cafe, and got a job with the Brother Hub­bard fam­ily, be­com­ing a man­ager of Sis­ter Sadie’s on Har­ring­ton Street. Mean­while, Cough­lan worked in Joe’s Cof­fee, both of them learn­ing about the be­hind-thescenes pro­cesses and re­al­i­ties of run­ning a cafe.

Cough­lan has a back­ground in me­dia, which ex­plains the cafe’s well-cu­rated out­put on so­cial me­dia and the copies of arts and cul­ture mag­a­zine Love ly­ing around the cafe. The in­te­ri­ors of this beau­ti­ful space were de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Terry De­sign from Por­ta­d­own, the team also re­spon­si­ble for Es­tab­lished Cof­fee in Belfast. Roche’s back­ground in con­struc­tion and de­sign comes into play here, and the space has a nat­u­ral flow that makes it a wel­com­ing place to con­verse and work in.

In the kitchen is Jane McGuin­ness, who has worked pre­vi­ously in Pichet’s and Mar­cel’s. “We had our dream menu cre­ated, based on dishes we had eaten in Ber­lin, Copen­hagen and of course Mel­bourne,” ex­plains Roche. “We just needed someone to make our dish wish­list a re­al­ity.”

They have cer­tainly found that in McGuin­ness. My Brew Baked Eggs (¤10.95) are a per­fectly bal­anced cast-iron pot of oozy yolk and spicy peper­onata, a red pep­per heavy tomato sauce, laced with dol­lops of soft, tangy, goat cheese. I get some chorizo on the side (an ad­di­tional ¤2.95), im­ported from Spain.

The free-range eggs are from O’Eggs in Co Meath, and they’re an im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent for Roche and Cough­lan.

“Most of our menu in­cludes eggs,” says Roche, and in­deed their all day brunch is fast be­com­ing a favourite in the city. They of­fer brunch all day, ev­ery day, but that’s not to take away from their reg­u­lar lunch menu, served from noon ev­ery day, which in­cludes some su­per look­ing sal­ads, with a Mid­dle Eastern in­flu­ence, and soups and sand­wiches that take old favourites, like a roasted chicken and stuff­ing sambo, and make them ex­cit­ing.

I get a batch brew fil­ter of a 3FE blend (¤2.70), which is a speedy way of get­ting my fil­ter fix. To get the most out of the cafe’s cur­rent guest roaster, St Ali from Mel­bourne, I choose the Kalita fil­ter (¤3.95), which is a pour-over jug. There some dev­il­ish-look­ing sweet treats on of­fer too, in­clud­ing a ri­cotta and rasp­berry gluten-free cup­cake, which is pleas­antly light and not as glut­tonous as its be­guil­ing ap­pear­ance sug­gests. Thumbs up.

Roche and Cough­lan had been very close to tak­ing a premises on Fran­cis St, and when that fell through they were gut­ted, ac­cord­ing to Roche. It was a while later when the space in Phib­s­bor­ough came up and Roche can see now, eight weeks in, that it has all worked out for the best. They have been packed since they opened.

Roche name-checks the neigh­bour­hood in­sti­tu­tion, Wood­stock Cafe, which is lo­cated around the cor­ner and has been in busi­ness for over 20 years. “There is even more space for new cafes in Phib­s­bor­ough,” says Roche. “Since we opened, more and more lo­cals keep com­ing out of the wood­work and vis­it­ing us. It feels like it’s a neigh­bour­hood on the up.” AMcE

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