Bewleys, on Grafton St., 'is' a warm place. When you walk in off the street it’s like walking into your grandmother’s living room. You walk in from a day when the sky has cracked open and the pressure has dropped so quickly you felt your ears pop. Once you're in you can disrobe from your dripping protective layer. It's a homely feeling.
You enter through the shop, which expands, into a multi-leveled hive-like structure, or it gives that impression anyway. Like the winding tunnels of the London underground (but not on the same scale;). You can snuggle into a corner table and marvel at the human traffic. Like watching one of those nature videos about an ant colony. It feels like you’re in the bowels of the machine that feeds the workforce. The food isn’t great but it flows.
You can sit all day and feel like you’re sitting in a crowd of strangers, or you can notice the people around you. They’re generally warm souls.
Bewleys doesn’t have a pretense, unlike most café's. It doesn’t come pre-packaged with an image. This is the place you see people who didn’t get caught up in café culture. They could be a drunk, a grandmother, a lawyer, or just a somebody.
It’s comforting to sit at the table and imagine the number of hands that have rested on its marble surface. The thousands of cream eclairs that have let a sly dollop of cream drop on this surface. The transience intoxicates me.