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Café Sacarello

Follow the aroma all the way down Via Tuckey’s Lane into Irish Town. Through Charles Dickens windows and Spanish doors, Into a haven of well-worn floors. As the doors swing open to let you in, Your ears are met with a clamouring din; Of a clink and a clunk and a whoosh of steam, And the tap, tap, tap from the feet of a team Of busy girls with teetering trays, Working their way through the wooden maze.

For those who love coffee and loose leaf tea, Pan de Pelayo and scones at three, Edge through the crowds and find where to sit, In the gallery, patio, terrace or pit. The seat in the corner above the stairs Is usually reserved for illicit affairs. She’s there at nine but he’ll be late, As his wife drinks her coffee in the pit at eight.

One old boy has the window seat All to himself and begins to eat A plate of stew and a hunk of bread, All washed down with a glass of red. He comes to the café to chat with the girls, Read the paper and watch the world Go by outside on the cobbled streets, Just relishing the scene and the food he eats.

The infamous Juani commands the front bar, Don’t think she can’t see you, she knows who you are. Her beady brown eyes will shoot you a stare From beneath the fringe of her short cropped hair. She’s been here longer than all the machines, She can boast that she roasts all the best coffee beans. With a flick of her wrist she’ll prepare you a brew Cortado, manchado, to name but a few.

All walks of life have trod these floors, From well-heeled lawyers to political bores, Breastfeeding mothers and local priests Offering counsel amidst the shrieks Of chattering students and Westside girls, Coming of age in this social whirl. The hoi-polloi sit cheek-by-jowl With the bad and the mad and the fair and the foul.

Those who are canny will soon realise The art of deception, deceit and disguise. If you take the front stairs and go out the back way, No one will know you have been in today! Midst the clink and the clank of the china cups, These wise old walls have witnessed the ups And the downs of this town for a hundred years, Its secrets, its lies, its hopes and its fears.

On occasion you’ll chance to glimpse a sneak-peek Of a towering gent with a regal physique. He floats round the café giving commands With wide-sweeping gestures from theatrical arms. He lunches each day at precisely half-two His staff bustle round him, they know what to do. Agua con gas in a pint glass with lime, If he’s in the mood he may even drink wine. He’ll glide back upstairs to the office above And manage to manage the café he loves.

And speaking of love and of loyalty too, The people keep coming and why wouldn’t you? With the clinks and the clanks and the whooshes of steam, And the rat-a-tat-tat from the feet of the team; Of Rocio and Paqui and Nieves and all Of the glorious staff who will welcome your call For cortados, manchados, espressos and more, Sacarello’s is there for us all to explore. Just follow the aroma all the way down Via Tuckey’s Lane into IrishTown.

By Rebecca Faller, December 2013

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