‘It’s a bit different but we like it that way’ is the tagline behind this weekend’s Raven’ Street Feast in Galway’s Westend.
The first of its kind in the Westend, the one-day mini food festival – which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, 5 June from 11am-2pm – is bringing together the much loved and award winning businesses in the area as part of the Westend summer celebrations.
In a bid to further promote the Westend area and all it has to offer, the idea to hold the Raven’ Street Feast was born, explains Margaret Bohan of Dela Restaurant on Dominick Street and the Westend Traders Association. Taking place on Ravens Terrace, the Street Feast will allow locals and visitors alike to sample a taste of the 11 restaurants taking part including Kai, Dela, Pearla na Mara, An Tobar Nua, Rouge, Creole and Hooked on Henry Street.
“Each business will be offering a flavour of what they do. The area will be set up as a picnic area and we are inviting Galway to the Westend to enjoy all of our amazing food,” says Ms Bohan.
“Each business will have a stall set up selling food and refreshments, there will be live bluegrass music and face painting will be happening for all the children.”
According to Ms Bohan, the Street Feast is the perfect opportunity for people to sample different foods and restaurants in the area.
“Rouge will have lovely little French starters or tiny little bites and Kai are going to have their lovely vegan biscuits and lemonade, Dela are going to have a pork burger and we’re going to do sausage rolls as well so all of the businesses are just going to showcase what is down here.”
But, Ms Bohan, is keen to point out, it’s not just food that’s available on the day. Galway West Tour Bike Company, Bell Book and Candle and representatives from the Galway Greenway will also be showcasing what they’ve got to offer.
“So it’s quite diverse really but as they say, this is the tagline, ‘It’s a bit different but we like it that way!’”
Locally owned businesses are the backbone of our economy and it’s vital that Galway people continue to support the retailers on their doorstep, according to Ms Bohan, who says the Street Feast presents the perfect opportunity to do so.
“Some of the businesses like Ernie’s veg shop that’s down here for three generations, and Colleran’s Locksmiths for example, all of these families have been here for years and it’s just nice to keep it going, otherwise we’ll just be exactly like every other city.”
Marketed as a family-friendly day in the Westend, Raven Terrace will be closed off to traffic completely on the Monday morning and there will be live music and face painting available on the day.
It is hoped the inaugural Street Feast will become an annual event.
Describing it as a “neighbourhood” Street Feast, another one of aims behind the event is to bring together residents and retailers of the Westend.
“We feel that the Westend is quite a neighbourhood and there is a good sense of community down here and the Street Feast is really an opportunity to get together and to have a chat and show people around and promote each other,” Ms Bohan says.
“I think it’s one of the things that Galway still has – we have this lovely sense of community and neighbourhood and there’s a friendliness about it and people have each other’s backs.”
With the area emerging as a vibrant community hub, Ms Bohan says the Westend is a unique part of the city.
“We’re asking everybody to come back The West for the day. It’s easy to get carried away with the commercialisation…and all that, but this was a lovely little fishing village and it was a town before it was a city.
“The place will only get better when everybody is looking out for each other and making sure every other person’s business is going well so that there will be a strength in it as well.”
The Westend Street Feast takes place on Monday 5 June from 11am to 2pm at Raven’s Terrace in Galway City. For more details, see www.facebook.com/westendgalway