A new arrival on the Dublin grocery scene is the gorgeous-looking Fallon & Byrne, a classy supermarket along the lines of Donnybrook Fair, on Exchequer Street in the city centre. They’ve been renovating the building for a while and, seeing it opened at last, I just popped in for a few minutes last Saturday week. A former telephone exchange, it’s an airy, echo-y space, all parquet floors and food everywhere. Right inside the door is a juice bar and, dotted around the periphery of the vast floor space, were also an in-store butchers, a long deli counter filled with take-home dishes, a coffee bar, complete with high stools and tables, and a well-stocked cheese and charcuterie counter which I could have spent the rest of the afternoon poring over.
One row was filled with piles of unusual vegetables and fruit – I was sorely tempted by the heads of perky looking chicory or Belgian endive, having enjoyed a dish in Paris where they were rolled in slices of ham and baked in a béchamel sauce. But I was already late to meet with friends so I had to leave with nothing but a little packet of saffron from the intriguing spice range, a lot of it sourced from London’s The Spice Shop, across from Books for Cooks on Blenheim Crescent. Although my brief visit was only to the ground floor, apparently Fallon & Byrne encompasses another two levels – a wine bar and cellar downstairs and there’s going to be a restaurant on the first floor.
It’s definitely a place that I’m going to want to explore more. Meanwhile, there’s an interview with F&B food hall manager, Rachel Firth, on new Irish foodie website Greatfood.ie (another place well worth taking a – virtual – look around) which explains more about the ethos behind and aims of the store.
Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer Building, 11-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.