Family, friends and the very first pilgrim patrons sampled some of the wines and food on offer at the launch of Kilkenny’s newest wine bar Beaujolais last Thursday evening.
Mayor David Fitzgerald also stuck his head around the door, (although he did not indulge in the vino).
Kieran Bollard and his wife Philippa first hit on the idea of a wine bar about four months ago. The open-plan area at the back of Bollard’s was under-utilised, they felt, and a wine bar seemed a novel way of attracting a new and growing market.
The venue is ideally located just off Kieran Street in the heart of the city, adjacent to the Market Yard, so parking is not an issue. Access is from the Market Yard, beside Le Caveau, or alternatively, by going through Bollards’ Kieran Street entrance.
Attractive leather seating compliments the tastefully decorated, candlelit interior. Framed vintage French wine posters adorn the walls, and while the theme, as the name suggests, is decidedly French, the cellar is stocked with wines from all over the world.
The two are entirely separate ventures, but the bar’s wine list bears the imprint of connoisseur Pascal Rossignol, who owns the neighbouring Le Caveau shop. Pascal and his wife Geraldine were also present at last Thursday’s grand opening.
Glasses start from €5, with glass or whole bottle options for most items, listing reds, whites, roses, sparklings, as well as a small selection of port and sherry.
Crucially, Beaujolais shares the Bollard’s license, and as such, a selection of draft beers are available on tap. This is a feature not shared by a lot other wine bars, and will accommodate those with oenophobic partners and friends.
The man behind the bar is Bruno Surice, who is more than happy to offer his assistance and knowledge to those struggling to decide on what to have.
Hot food is also on offer, with chef’s daily specials available until 9.30pm.
The ‘petits plats’ menu is available all night, with a tasty selection including a continental cheese board, different Mediterranean meats on fresh bread with olive oil, homemade chicken liver pate, and smoked Atlantic salmon.
“It is good wine and home-cooked food at reasonable prices, in a comfortable setting,” says Kieran.
“We have to say a big thanks to all the staff who have worked hard to make this possible.”
The bar has opened for a few nights in the past fortnight, which gave the staff a chance to iron out any issues and prepare for the grand opening.
Beaujolais is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm onwards, and it is hoped that this will be expanded during the summer months.
The room is also available for groups, functions or parties. To make a booking, or for more information, contact 087 6807885.