Kennedy’s of Enniskerry

enniskerry - kennedy's

Kennedy’s of Enniskerry is, as you might expect, in Enniskerry. Enniskerry is an enchanting village at the foot of a valley in Wicklow, a county immediately south of Dublin, that was original built as the estate village for the nearby Palladian Powerscourt House: Kennedy’s is a charming café on Church Hill right in the heart of the village.


Santina and Andrew Kennedy are the accidental café owners who run and own the eponymous café. Three years ago Andrew lost his job, Santina was then a stay at home mum who though she would like to open a food shop when the children were older so she was working on a business plan. Necessity beckoned and one month from the day Andrew lost his job they opened a pastel coloured food shop cum delicatessen, decorated it in what Santina describes as a recession chic style with items from their home.

enniskerry - kennedy's

Looking back Santina says they were naive and idealistic and they had to boot a flawed business plan. She believes that the shop would have folded within a couple of months without the overwhelming support they received from the local community. On the day they opened they sold out of everything, yes absolutely everything, the only thing left at end of day that wasn’t a fridge, furniture or shelving was a bunch of flowers! The couple who were born and brought up locally have been very touched by that community support which is ongoing.

kennedy's of enniskerry

Shortly after they opened customers begin to ask them to sell coffee so they added cups of coffee to the list of things they sold. They didn’t have customer toilets so health regulations only allowed them to sell that coffee in take away paper cups and to have just four chairs were people could linger for ten minutes only while they downed their coffee. The mandarins who drafted these regulations couldn’t have foreseen what was to happen at Kennedy’s which was fast becoming the hub of the village. Customers stood around chatting for aeons longer than the allocated ten minutes, standing up or sitting on the widow ledges if all the seats were taken. Eventually Santina and Andrew put in more seating and so began a game of cat and mouse with the local health inspector.

They also started protracted negotiations for the lease of a bigger and a more suitable premises across the road from the original shop. It was a stressful time, they were given final notice on the 11th of December last year that the extra chairs would have to be removed by the 18th of the month and the loss of much of the coffee trade would impact greatly on their delicate income. Fortunately they managed to agree terms on the new lease and spent a frantic two weeks transforming a dark greasy chipper into a light and airy café. They closed the old shop bang on the deadline of the 18th December and stayed up until 4am putting the finishing touches to the new place and opened for business at 8am on the morning of the 19th.

kennedy's of enniskerry

The pretty café is extraordinarily popular. I discovered it by accident when I had an appointment in the village. Enniskerry is not somewhere that’s on my route anywhere but I now occassionally very often drive there just to get a coffee in Kennedy’s because I know that a cup of coffee made by barista Andrew will be good. Andrew and Santina don’t just do good coffee they along with their delightful assistant Sheila are providers of very genuine and excellent customer service.

kennedy's of enniskerry

Kennedy’s is open seven days a week for breakfast, light lunch, and afternoon tea: they also sell food to go.


Filed under Coffee, Ireland, Restaurants/Cafés

10 responses to “Kennedy’s of Enniskerry

  1. Do they use those beautiful cups and small pots to serve their coffee in?

    • Just Add Attitude

      They use the teapots to serve tea but the vintage china is for display only and they use other cups to serve tea and coffee in.

  2. H

    I completely love this cafe and like you my path was not crossing Enniskerry so it was only fairly recently I discovered it. The first time I visited, I had a really extraordinarily good orange cake. It was so good I went back some time later but the orange cake was not on the menu. However a superfood salad was and honestly I have never tasted anything so good that was also so healthy – nearly as good as cake!!! The coffee is good and I will be diverting to Enniskerry more often from now on.

    • Just Add Attitude

      Hello H

      And how lovely to hear from you. Would you believe I actually thought about you when I was writing this as I wondered if you as a fellow coffee and cake lover had discovered Kennedy’s – so I am pleased to hear you have. I haven’t tried the superfood salad but I will. Bxx

  3. I love to hear of something being an overnight success like this! Two people with good hearts and fine intentions triumph!! I would love to pop in there for a coffee! Lucky you!! xx Smidge

    • Just Add Attitude

      It is heartwarming to hear stories of success like this. Since I started going to Kennedy’s I have been much struck by Andrew and Santina’s interest in and kindness to their customers. Thanks Smidge for your comment. xx

  4. Hilde

    Santina en Andrew , wat een ‘lovely’ artikel over jullie zaak. Wij ( je familie in Belgie ) wensen jullie veel succes . Jullie doen dat supergoed !!
    vele groetjes Mick , Hilde en Kealan xxx

    • Mick, Hilde and Kealan – Thank you for your comment which I had to translate using Google as I don’t speak any Dutch so apologies if the words aren’t exactly as you intended them. Just in case Andrew and Santina don’t see your comment I will mention it to them next time I am in their lovely cafe. Best wishes from B at Just Add Attitude.

      Translation of comment.
      Santina and Andrew, what a lovely article about your place. We (your family in Belgium) wish you much success. You do that very well!
      many greetings Mick, Hilde and Kealan xxxx

  5. hello santina , i have decided to make a painting of your nice looking coffeeshop at enniskerry; when its finished, i would send the portret to you; love tadg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s