Street landscapes are always changing. Those of us of a certain age mourn when video shops close down, not so much when discount shops disappear. But sometimes change can be very good, as when those tired premises are transformed into a deli / cafe / bistro named Hanna's in Fermoy.
Hanna's is owned by the team behind the busy Amber Service Station just off the M8, outside Fermoy. That has always been an unexpectedly great spot to stock up on local produce - Strawhall free range eggs, Badger and Dodo coffee, Trudy's Bread, the best selection of Irish beers and ciders for miles around - and they've funnelled that careful sourcing through to their downtown destination.
With a long, stylish street frontage and outdoor seating, Hanna's is slap bang in the centre of the town. It has recently extended its opening hours, ambitiously trying to be all things to all people: the café opens from 8.30am to 5.30pm, six days a week, to cater for self service breakfast, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. The Bistro takes over at 6.30pm for evening meals and, on Sundays, is open for table service lunch. There's also an on-site deli which stocks Arbutus and Barron's bread, a selection of crackers from Sheridan's and Mezze, locally made rubs and sauces (Elbow Lane and Rebel Chilli amongst them) and treats like Mella's fudge and Skelligs' chocolate.
For lunch on Saturdays, it's self service and busy but the food is good quality and well worth queuing for. Arbutus bread makes an appearance on the sandwich menu, as does Gubbeen and Ardsallagh cheese. There's an expansive menu alongside a few daily specials, offering a nice mixture of the familiar (glazed bacon with parsley and onion sauce) and the adventurous, particularly on the soup station: their chunky butter bean, bacon and butternut is a favourite so far but a creamy sweet potato and coconut soup came a close second.
Hanna's hasn't got everything sorted yet - it's a big and very busy spot - but the (mostly young) staff are very obliging and they put in the effort to make sure that you're happy. A worthy addition to the town.