After months of planning, organising and hard work, Kilkenny’s brand-new Youth Cafe opened its doors for business in November. Based upstairs in Ossory Youth on New Street, Kilkenny, the Desart Hall Youth Cafe offers young people a safe, fun environment to hang out, eat good food, listen to music, avail of free wifi and make new friends.
The cafe opens every Saturday from 1.30-5.30pm and serves good-quality, reasonably priced food and snacks. There is live music every Saturday on an acoustic stage so this new amenity also gives local young bands and singers a chance to showcase their talent.
The café was primarily organised by the Ossory Youth group called Youthink, which meets every Saturday night and which works to make a positive contribution to the community. The group is facilitated by youth workers Patrick Bookle, Rebecca Carbery and Mick Greene and is made up of 20 young people aged 15 to 18.
“The cafe is staffed every week by young people who are gaining valuable work experience,” said Rebecca, who also manages the café every Saturday. “They are also responsible for all the marketing during the week to ensure that the cafe remains busy. The feedback from our customers so far has been very positive.”
Agreeing with these comments, Mick Greene added: “We started to organise this six months ago and the group has put a huge amount of work put into this. The young people did all the market research and analysis and recently presented their business plan to the Ossory Youth Board of Directors, who have been extremely supportive of the project. They have already learned hugely valuable skills that will help them in the future.”
Most importantly, the customers are very happy with this new facility. Ben Moylan, 17, said: “We would normally just hang out on Kieran Street or on the Parade but this new café feels like it’s our own space and we can just hang out. The food is great and is reasonably priced and there is a brilliant atmosphere here.”
Live music is at the heart of the café with an acoustic stage for any solo performer or band who wants the opportunity to perform. This element of the café will be known as the Saturday Sessions and young performers are urgently required to ensure live music each week. Any young person from any musical genre, or even a stand-up comedian, who would like the opportunity to perform to other young people can contact any member of Youthink, check out the Youthink/Desart Hall Youth Café page on Facebook or contact Patrick Bookle at Ossory Youth at 056 7761200 or 087 2129006.
Desart Hall Youth Café has a special offer this Saturday for all our younger readers. Simply mention the “Kilkenny People Offer” to the staff to can avail of a filled roll and a cold drink for €3.50 while listening to free live music.