Gangster, bootlegger, and enemy number one, Al Capone once terrorised Chicago, but in Knocknacarra where his mugshots have moved from the police files to gracing the walls of the ever popular restaurant, Capones, his name has become synonymous with great food and service.
Located at Kingston Road (across from Joyce’s Supermarket ) Capones, a Galway-owned business which is the brainchild of part-owner Kenneth Kitterick, was established in 2010 bringing something unique and exciting to the restaurant and hospitality industry in Galway. Certainly this Chicago Italian themed restaurant was a welcome addition to Knocknacarra and surrounding areas which is home to thousands of families, students, and businesses, all eager to have somewhere to go for a relaxing no-hassles meal with top quality ingredients and value for money.
While sipping a delicious cappuccino and taking in the trendy surroundings, manager Geraldine Curran explains that an Al Capone theme was an obvious choice for the restaurant which is adorned with plenty of facts about the infamous gangster and the era of mob ruled Chicago - even the toilets are veritable mini-museums with paper clippings of those times. Knocknacarra was chosen as a location for many reasons, as Ms Curran explains: “At the time there wasn’t much available in terms of places to eat here, really only a handful. This location was chosen because of its huge customer base - we go as far as Barna with our deliveries. It is a great location because of the sheer size of Knocknacarra which has in excess of 15,000 houses. There is also plenty of parking to the rear of our premises and underground, which is a major benefit to our customers who are looking for a hassle free dining experience.”
The restuarant has developed into a thriving business
“After the usual initial hiccups associated with all start-up businesses, we’ve really developed the restaurant into a thriving business,” said Ms Curran who with a long established background in hospitality industry joined Capones last summer. “I took a year out from the industry and Capones was the first step back for me. I remember being in this restaurant as a customer and I could see it had so much potential. I saw the potential because of the location, the standard and quality of the food that comes out of that kitchen - the pastas and pizzas are made to order and there are real home-made chips. It is real food, we don’t put bread crumbs into the burgers to fill it out, it is all meat, pure 100% Irish beef. We get our vegetables and meat delivered daily from local producers and suppliers. It costs more but it's the only way to ensure that our chefs get the highest quality ingredients to prepare the food. We’re not just about pizzas and pastas, we have delicious burgers, sandwiches/wraps, lite bites, salads, and main course options such as sirloin steaks, fish, and chicken dishes. As well as a wide selection of wines we started offering bottled beer three months ago.”
The gangster theme is not only evident on the walls but also in the menu which consists of such pizzas as The God Father, Scarface, John Gotti, and of course Al Capone. The pasta menu consists of carbonaras, bolognaise and the Capones’ house pasta. The homemade Capones burgers selection includes the American classic, bacon delight, the Capones special, and the cheese lovers burger, one which I got a chance to sink my teeth into and I can say, with all certainty, that it is probably one of the best burgers I have tasted. The burger is most definitely made with top quality meaty ingredients and topped with fresh onion, lettuce, tomato, a variety of cheeses, and the creme de la creme, the special Capones’ sauce. Not only is there a mouth-watering burger but also home-made chips, the real proper kind, cut in big chunky slices, perfect for mopping up any remaining sauce and filling what little space may be left in the already satisfied stomach, and all this for just €9.85. I could not believe the value and the quality.
Giving customers value for money and something new
When it comes to value and providing customers with something new, Capones is also trying to step up to the plate. As Ms Curran explains: “There are different deals and specials offered on a weekly basis, as well as no charge for deliveries for orders above €10. We also do daily specials such as soup and a wrap for just €5, and other specials from €6. We’re always offering something new so it is the perfect place for lunch as well as for evening meals.
“The owner really wants to bring the business onto the next level so he is willing to try new things. We wanted to introduce new choices to our wine list so Capones recently held a wine tasting evening inviting customers to come and sample a selection and make their choice. The wines chosen then went on the list. For us it is about what the customer wants, we always try to involve them. Through customer comments we learnt that gluten free choices were popular so we now have options for that in our pizzas, pastas, and burgers. It is a great place for a family to eat out, very child friendly with special birthday options available such as parties where the children have fun creating their own pizzas. This is extremely popular and it’s going down a treat, we get great feedback. Capones also holds themed nights for social groups, birthday parties, and other special occasions. We have had a Flappers and Gangsters night, there have been nights where customers designed their own pizzas, and a burger eating competition with the Capones’ special burger which is quite a mouthful consisting of a pound of beef. Capones also tries to cater for special requirements, we always do our best to facilitate customers even if what they want is not on the menu. We have an exceptional team here, they give great efficient service.
“When Capones first opened a lot of people did not realise we were here because of lack of signage, but we’re getting a lot of support from locals and our name is starting to grow. We’ve developed our website more which displays the range of deals we have, which is extensive. The business is really holding its own and the owner has a lot of ideas on how to bring the business forward,” said Ms Curran.
Friendly staff and a relaxing environment
As well as being popular for local workers seeking a good value for money lunch, Capones is a regular haunt for tourists and families. As I sat attempting to consume every last morsel of my meal I watched as a number of families enjoyed a tasty, uncomplicated, but delicious meal together, which was served up by the friendly staff in a relaxing spacious environment.
Capones is currently gearing up for Communion and confirmation season and to help families celebrate they're offering a deal where the child of honour gets his or her main meal free. There are also plenty of options for loved-up Valentine’s couples including a deal giving two courses for €12.95 which is running for the whole of February. Other popular deals include Thursday pasta day, offering any two pastas and two glasses of wine for only €14.95, the Sunday Family Afternoon deal offering two starters, two mains, and two soft drinks for €25, and add a kid’s meal for €2.50. Customers can also avail of four courses for only €20 from Friday to Sunday. Capones has many more deals, offering value combined with quality food and top notch service. Customers can avail of a loyalty card system where six meals gets you one free meal to the value of €15.
For more information call into Capones at Kingston Road, Knocknacarra, phone 091 520060, or log onto www.capones.ie for regular updates on deals. Opening hours are: midday to 11pm Sunday through to Thursday, and midday until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.