Mayor John Boyle has said he is delighted to support the ‘Walled City.Coffee’ initiative and has launched a series of special monthly coffee evenings in the Guildhall. The coffee evenings at the Guildhall will beginning on Thursday, October 25 from 6-10pm.
The Walled City.Coffee initiative began last year and has seen local coffee shops open late (up to 10pm), inspiring an ‘alternative evening economy’ in Derry for businesses, residents and tourists alike.
The idea has proved a resounding success – and has even seen some venues turning customers away as more people abandon the evening tipple and embrace a new coffee culture.
Created by local business person and civic activist Ciaran Murray, the Walled City.Coffee initiative is part of his ‘Your Derry’ project which aims to reinvigorate the city and promote entrepreneurial ideas.
Mayor Boyle said: “I’m delighted to support this fantastic initiative – and really love the idea of opening up the Guildhall for special monthly coffee evenings.
“Indeed, Ciaran must be commended for developing his concept which has proved such a hit with locals and tourists alike.
“After speaking to him about his plans, I’m delighted to hear that the initiative has resulted in people often queuing to get tables in local coffee shops – and that they’re now at the point of needing to add more venues.
“We will therefore be launching a series of monthly Walled City.Coffee evenings in the Guildhall beginning on Thursday October 25.
“There will also be live music, free tours of the Guildhall & Harbour House and a chance for local residents and visitors alike to enjoy the gems that we have in the #heartofthecity.”
Founder Ciaran Murray said: “I’m honoured that the Mayor and Council have embraced this important initiative which clearly shows that people in Derry have been wanting to have a coffee culture in the evenings for some years now.
“We’re seeing a real mixture of tourists, locals, parents, business people and various groups use the coffee nights. We got everything from local acting companies, mental health drop-in clinics and fitness clubs meeting regularly and using these new evening spaces.
“I think it’s fantastic that Cafe Guild will also now be serving up drinks and snacks to people in the Guildhall during the special monthly coffee evenings.”
“Walled City.Coffee isn’t really about coffee, it’s about people socialising in a non-alcohol oriented environment and reclaiming our city centre as an evening space and place to be after hours.”
“The ultimate aim is for the coffee culture in Derry to get to the point where venues can just open all week round at night – providing what is an alternative night out for residents and further adding to the visitors’ experience of our city centre!”