Remember how excited and nervous I was when I made this announcement? Well, right now I'm excited and nervous too but it's for precisely the opposite reason.
I'm closing the café or at least the current incarnation of Béile le Chéile. I may reopen in another location, in another format or at another time but for now, I'm calling it a day.
I feel mixed emotions and it's taken me months to arrive at this decision. I've put my heart and soul into Béile le Chéile and for the most part, I've absolutely loved cooking for and meeting my customers. It's hard to walk away and admit that something I'd always harboured as a dream is no longer going to be a reality.
But for now, I know it's the right thing to do. Running a café is exhausting, particularly in a seasonal town like Dingle. My boyfriend said something interesting the other day. He remembered how I used to be tearful all the time when I first opened the café, so overwhelmed was I by the exhaustion I felt. "You don't cry as much now," he said. (Phew for that!) "But I think you're just as tired. You've just learned to deal with it better."
I think he's right and I don't want to be that tired anymore. I want to have more time to devote to other things that interest me in life. Instead of working 12-hour days and coming home too tired to do anything other than eat and sleep, I want to read, spend time with friends, have the time and energy to really talk to people, walk my dog, cook and bake at a less frenzied pace and generally enjoy my life more.
I love running a café and I've gained so much from the experience. The café won a John and Sally McKenna Award and a Georgina Campbell award and so many of our customers had such heartening things to say about their visits to Béile le Chéile
But right now, it's not worth the sacrifices I'm having to make for it. I may come back to it in time. I'm still interested in food and I might decide to pursue that interest in a different way. But for now, things are going to change in my life. And I'm adamant that those changes will be very much for the better.
Thanks so much to everyone who helped make Béile le Chéile a success these past two years. I had such great staff, without whom the café wouldn't have been such a warm and welcoming place. My family and friends rode in to help avert disaster on plenty of occasions. And I had wonderful customers, who made everything worthwhile.
Our last day is this Saturday, the 2nd of November. In the meantime, go raibh mile maith agaibh go léir agus slán go foill.