Steven Linehan and his wife Martina are no strangers to high quality dining. The couple were the owners of the always popular Le Chateau restaurant on the banks of the Shannon in Athlone before becoming, as Steven says, “one of the first casualties of the recession”.
“Back in 2008 we were forced to close the restaurant. But we feel that things are bottoming out now. Myself and my wife felt that there was a gap in the market, so we’ve opened a cafe and deli called beans and Leaves,” explained Steven.
The new bustling cafe, which employs seven people, is located across from the side entrance of Burgess, in the heart of Athlone, with views of the Shannon. Promising nothing but fresh, homemade, and competively priced dishes, Steven is confident he has created a business model that will succeed.
As a qualified chef he prides himself in creating delicious homemade breads, scones, and soups, as well as all the breakfast and lunch options. “We’ve created a small menu that centres around simple ingredients. We’ve gone for the end of the market that’s not overly expensive. Our mains are around €7.50 and our coffee is reasonably priced” he said.
Steven feels Beans and Leaves offers a cheaper and fresher alternative to other similar establishments. Along with all day dining at the cafe they can cater for outside dining, parties, office lunches, and are looking into opening a pop-up style restaurant over the weekend where they will serve a supper-style menu from 5-8pm.
Steven and Martina’s ideas don’t stop there. Customers looking to recreate Steven’s home style food at home can avail of their dine at home meals, which can be bought in the cafe and reheated at home.
Their next adventure is also taking shape and they have begun work on a tapas style wine bar on Church Street which they hope to have opened by Christmas.
Steven and Martina are firm believers in supporting the local economy and hope the people of Athlone understand the importance on investing in their town.
“By spending your money with local businesses, that money is kept in the town. It’s important to remember that,” he concluded.
Beans and Leaves, Lloyd’s Lane, Church Street, Athlone is open from 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday serving breakfast, lunch, snacks, and coffee. For more information email [email protected] or call (090 ) 6433534.