A new shopping experience: Fallon & Byrne
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.
Last week, post exams and an afternoon’s drinking, a few of us from my class ended up having our dinner in Fallon and Byrne, while waiting for our slot in the Karoake bar nextdoor.While we were there an American friend took a phone call from his mother who asked him where he was – he replied “just having my dinner in a grocery store”. She sounded very shocked and he reassured her that it was a very nice grocery store!It’s very non-shop like – the metal shelves remind me of the back kitchen or something, but it has some really lovely stuff.Hopefully unlike Fresh in Smithfield, they’ll have the turnover to keep the fruit and veg fresh.
What was the food like, Auds? I’d be interested to see if their quality control continues through to what they serve. And you’re right about the appearance of F&B – it’s a very non-shop-like shop! Hope your exams went well too.
I had fishcakes and a carrot/parsnip mash – the mash was fab but fishcakes were a bit potato heavy. It was quite reasonable enough I suppose.Some of the others had fancy sandwiches and they really enjoyed them.