First They Take Berlin



Berlin D2 independent coffee shop, café and club on Clarendon Street, Dublin 2  is to close

Via Dublin Inquirer:

“We’re quite devastated really,” says staff member Poppy Copeland. “We spent a whole year trying to develop a nice community coffee shop where a lot of people have met and developed relationships,” she says. “It’s a real nice hub for everyone to meet and just to feel like that space is going to close soon is just sad for everyone involved.”

Café manager Stephen McCusker says he agrees. It’s been a year or so since he and Copeland started to work together, and, it looks to them as if they’ve created something in that time.

As a space, Berlin D2 evolves throughout the day: mornings and afternoons, those who work in the area nip in for coffee and lunch. As evening approaches, one or more DJs occupy the decks for an ambient, boozier, feel.

Berlin D2 rents its space from the Powerscourt Centre, and after some disagreements with the landlord, McCusker and his team decided to call it a day.

We could get into, for want of a better term, a shit-fight over the place,” he says. “But I think it’s better to come out with your head held high and you go, ‘We did a great thing but due to unforeseen circumstances it has to finish.’

It’s unclear what might take their place. Copeland and McCusker reckon it’ll be one of the big chains. They note the empty retail spaces on Coppinger Row which adjoin the café.

A spokesperson for the Powerscourt Centre did not respond to phone calls asking to talk to somebody about the space, and what might replace Berlin D2.

Copeland notes the recently opened Starbucks on Drury Street and feels the area is no longer the stronghold of the smaller, independent coffee shop.

On Clarendon Street, Berlin D2 Says It’s Calling It a Day (Conal Thomas, Dublin Inquirer)

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69 thoughts on “First They Take Berlin

  1. Pete

    A sad day to see soulless Starbucks at every corner and places such as Berlin shutting its doors.

    1. Donger

      Agreed. Also, people referring to every shop/room/cafe now as a ‘space’ does my nut in.

      1. Parky Mark

        You mean you haven’t read the guide to the best coddle in the city? Dublin’s Next Top Coddle.

    1. 1980s Man

      Any Hipster I’ve met IS a capitalist. All the kids of well to do professionals. Just having their rebellious couple of years before conforming.

      1. Parky Mark

        I’d say the hipsters you refer to are’t rebelling at all. You just think they are.
        People think you’re a hipster too. Those people are just further down the square order than you are.

        1. Vote Rep #1

          I’d go as far as to say the people he is referring to as ‘hipsters’ are actually just people following what is in fashion at the moment.

        2. Painkiller

          No offence but the name “1980’s Man” suggests smugness that would make a Brooklyn hipster blush. Give a doggie a biscuit because he was born in the 1980’s…I blame Republic of TV! Does that culture even qualify as hipster? Is it just uninspired self-congratulatory cool? …these struggling comics with struggling models hanging off their arms all believing in their own cool. Laughing at stock footage of previous generations. Anyway, I lament a better time..

  2. Grouse

    Was pretty surprised to see a Starbucks go into that space on Drury St, and more surprised to see it full every time I walk by. There seems to be an unlimited demand for coffee franchises in Dublin City Centre. It makes me feel like I’m living on one side of some cavernous social divide, because everyone I know goes out of their way to avoid them.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      3FE, or whatever that cafe is on Drury St that has a bench outside and is full of people delighted with themselves, charges one euro for an extra shot! A pox on them. Independent is great but that’s taking the aul pish. They’ll never see my’s business again: I can tell you that for nothin’.

      1. Smith

        Clement & Pekoe.

        Hate that knob bench outside. “Look at me, I’m facing the street.”

        Rip off merchants too.

        1. Donger

          Why is that bench permanently occupied by people that look like they’re aroused by themselves

        2. Custo

          It’s easily the worst & weakest coffee in Dubin, and is pricier than Butlers despite being in half size cups.

      2. pendaticduck

        But Starbucks coffee is expensive isn’t it? How much do you think a shot of espresso should cost?

  3. Martin

    unfortunate, but it stuck out like a sore thumb where they were.
    if not a Starbucks/Costa, it’ll probably be replaced with some vapid “cocktail & nibbles” place like half the area around there.

    1. D2dweller

      And what would be wrong with that? Is coffee superior to cocktails or good food?

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        @ 2-D Wally

        There IS another dimension.
        It’s in 3-D and it’s called ‘reality’. You might have heard of it.

  4. Custo

    My favourite Starbucks is the one on westmoreland Street that looks directly at another one across the road. It’s very meta.

    1. Owen O'F

      And if you squint, you can see the one on the corner of Bachelor’s Walk from there too.

      1. milldred st meadowlark

        I feel like I’m missing out here…

        Maybe not. All the mind-bending multi-fecta of Starbucks cannot fix how utterly CRAP their coffee is. And their bilge-water tea.

    2. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      I’m sorry, but having a ‘favourite Starbucks is probably the most pitiful thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

      I nearly went into one once.
      It was next-door to a carpet shop and I was drunk.

  5. Optimus Grime

    Same story in Drogheda – one independent coffee shop that was doing really well now has to contend a massive Starbucks and now a Cafe Nero just up the street. Bit dispiriting but hey keep supporting our independent coffee houses!

  6. Bruncvik

    For truly good coffee, I go to Coffee Angel or Joe’s Coffee. Or Butlers, when I don’t feel like sitting down. For excellent, reliable and fast service, there is no better place than Starbucks. I’ve drank my share of coffees, and I’ve organized a number of small group meetings in various cafes around Dublin, and found that most places simply don’t deserve to compete with Starbucks. Here are a few examples of places I’ve been to only once. Never had any of this issues in a Starbucks:

    * Stephens Green Shopping Centre: Got chased off by a manager because I had the audacity to sit at a table and read a magazine after I finished the coffee.
    * Costa Cafe on Nassau Street: Got only served into a take-away cup within half hour from closing, because the staff was already cleaning the place.
    * Cafe on Upper Merrion Street (forgot the name; it stayed open for maybe two months): One of the best coffees in town, but took five minutes per cup to serve. No exaggeration; I timed it for each person ahead of me.
    * Netural Bakery at Lower Baggot Street: No coffee (not delivered yet), at 9:15 on a workday.

    I haven’t been to Berlin, so I can’t comment on their situation, but based on my experience with different cafes in Dublin, I must feel truly adventurous to go anywhere else than Starbucks or Butlers.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        I’m pretty fussy about coffee but I like their cappuccinos.
        So now, so.

        1. Parky Mark

          You like Starbucks but think you are fussy about coffee. There’s something wrong there.
          I drink Starbucks the odd time. It’s mediocre coffee but not terrible. I’d rather not give them business though.

    1. Grouse

      I honestly don’t understand the point in “excellent service” if what you’re being served is not enjoyable.

      I also have had none of the experiences you’ve described in the independent coffee shops I’m fond of.

      1. Bruncvik

        By “excellent service” I meant friendly and attentive staff. Something I find in Starbucks much more regularly than in other places. I’m not enough into coffee to seriously appreciate the taste at the expense of everything else. I recognize better tasting coffee, but if all I need is a caffeine fix (which is usually the coffee), external factors, such as additional products and the quality of the staff will influence my decision to give a certain place my business. It just so happens, that when all these things are considered, Starbucks suits me better on most occasions.

        1. Grouse

          Fair enough. I think I get friendlier and more attentive service from independent places than any franchise I’ve been to. Especially as the staff know you after two or three visits. I admit you do need to figure out which are the nice independent places, but that doesn’t take a lot of work if it’s your local neighbourhood. I can understand more why people fall back on franchises when they’re in foreign cities, etc.

          I mean, what you’re describing is exactly the opposite for me! But I’m not arguing with you.

  7. fmong

    I assumed it was upward only rent nonsense?

    PLUS Starbucks Coffee isn’t really coffee.. cop on

  8. 1980s Man

    Kaph is nice. I pop in there a fair bit despite it being populated with hipsters talking nonsense. The Polish bloke is good craic.

    I was disappointed to see yet another Starbucks open on that street but I’ve noticed that the clientele of Starbucks tend to be bland middle class kids and marketing types who adore brands as if they were God.

  9. ripoff

    Not sure why they brought Starbucks into their comments – All the other coffee shops in the area have said Starbucks hasn’t effected business in the slightest, (source –

    Plus they don’t have wifi and were pushing beer sales over coffee sales, their coffee was below average to be fair, so they aren’t really chasing the Starbucks business model, their suggestion when I asked for wifi was to try steal it from the hotel across the street.

    This sounds more like a dispute with their landlord than anything to do with competition from other shops.

    1. Parky Mark

      “their coffee was below average to be fair, so they aren’t really chasing the Starbucks business”
      Sounds like they were chasing Starbucks business.

      1. ripoff

        You know, I regretted typing that as soon as I hit post…

        to be fair to Berlin,
        their beers are great, as are their sausages and I love what they’ve done to what was a very dull space, I’ll definitely miss it….

        my only grief is them mentioning Starbucks which I don’t think was a real competitor for what they’re doing and the other coffee shops back that up, this appears to be a private argument with the landlord, which I’d love to know more about, because I’m a nosey git!

        1. pendaticduck

          The landlord presumably wants more money. That’s generally what landlords want. Chains like Starbucks have lots of money because they are hug and also avoid paying tax.

  10. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

    Silly whiney redundant crap

    As for the idiot disparaging Starbucks customers above get a life bozo

  11. fluffybiscuits

    Bozo? Are we trapped in a 60s American musical?

    Either way look no point whinging Dublin is filled with this over priced coffee hipster dumps

    BTW Best place is Lemon Jelly – top notch coffee

    1. Lorcan Nagle

      I’m not a coffee person but Lemon Jelly is a very nice place to sit and watch the world go by. And the staff are great.

  12. Frunobulax

    The best coffee on a break is your homemade one from the thermosflask. Dont need go where any dem bozos go.

  13. Anomanomanom

    You do know Starbucks built it’s self up from small coffee shop to multi franchise world wide because it actually has FANTASTIC value and good products.

    1. Parky Mark

      You know One Direction are so popular because they make FANTASTIC music.

      As for value, their large coffee costs about a fiver, where’s the value in that?

      1. Anomanomanom

        But they do make fantastic music for the millions and millions who love them, music is subjective. I hate prince millions love him so who’s right?

        1. Stephen

          One Direction is McDonalds and Prince is an amazing steak, so you’re wrong.

  14. Gah!

    “This coffee tastes like mud!” “Well sir, that’s because it was ground this morning.” Claiming that Starbuck’s have great service while buying their muck is like saying that at least the man who slapped you said “excuse me” first.

  15. missred

    Oh no, I love that place. The music they played was amazing, even if it was OTT for a Sunday afternoon when you’re hungover. Didn’t really go in for the coffee, but it was tasty stuff. Shame

  16. Andy

    I love starbucks.

    Even visited its original store in Seattle and all. Noting its original store is actually now a restaurant/diner as Starbucks moved further up into the market to a bigger shop so they can fit more Starbuck fans in!

    Go Team Starbucks!!

  17. Joe835

    I work around there and would frequent Berlin, Clement & Pekoe, Lemon, Kaph, sometimes Butlers and occasionally Starbucks. Berlin is lovely and do gorgeous cookies that I’ll miss (but my blood-sugar probably won’t).

    The hipstery places (C&P, Kaph) do lovely coffee but they need to be a bit more bold. One of them should go in for Berlin’s spot – coffee is incredibly-profitable and who cares if there’s two Kaphs, they’re always packed anyway!

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