BY JACKIE KEOGH
THE relocation of the Good Things café from Durrus to the heart of Skibbereen is something of a coup for the town.
Chef Carmel Somers put Durrus on the map when she opened the award-winning café and cookery school 13 years ago and food lovers from all over the country beat a path to her door.
Her decision to become ‘a townie’ is a personal choice for Carmel, who has raised three children – the youngest of whom, Jill, is attending school locally.
The relocation to Skibbereen is good news for the town because she is leasing an iconic building – Dillon’s Corner – that had been idle for a number of years.
It is the perfect location for a restaurant that will have extensive opening hours and employ more than 15 people during the peak season.
Carmel told The Southern Star: ‘We plan to be open by the end of February, sooner if possible.’
She said she is excited by the scope that her new premises offers, saying: ‘The building is just stunning. It’s a curved building on three floors that runs along the crossroads of three streets.’
Carmel confirmed that the new Good Things premises will have a cookery school on the first floor.
But she said she also intends to use that floor as the dinning room during the peak season.
Downstairs will be open for lunch through to dinner.
Carmel said: ‘One will be welcome to just drop in for a coffee. But we will also be doing an extensive wine list and will be focusing on serving more by the glass to go with some very interesting West Cork plates, such as a Fingal plate, a fish plate, a vegetarian plate, and a grower’s plate, which is suitable for vegans.
‘We will still serve many of the regular dishes that Good Things has become famous for – such as our fish soup. I want it to be a place where people can come and enjoy a simple glass of wine or bowl of soup at anytime of the day,’ she added.
‘I am so looking forward to this new venture because we will have two floors and be able to run both parts of the business together, all year round.’
The Durrus café has long been an essential prilgrimage for foodies, with near neighbour Graham Norton even saying it is one of his favourite local restaurants.