The popular Cava Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar in Galway which closed earlier this year will reopen at a different location in Galway City Centre under the name Cava Bodega.
The Restaurant, owned by restauranteurs JP Mc Mahon and Drigin Gaffey of Aniar Restaurant and Eat Gastropub, will open in early September on Middle Street in Galway’s Latin Quarter. It is situated opposite The Cornstore on Middle Street in the site previously occupied by Mustard. Although the new premises has been vacant for a prolonged period, the Cava team are completing extensive renovations for a whole new look. The new two-level restaurant will feature two separate eating spaces.
JP McMahon said “There was overwhelming support for Cava when we closed and a persistent demand for a reopening, it was just a matter of finding the right location.”
JP continues, “Our new menu is being kept under wraps for now but there will be some nose-to-tail additions . We’ll continue to work closely with farmers such as Castlemine and The Friendly Farmer and Gannet Fishmongers. We will also looking into historical food link between Ireland and Spain and trying to draw on our shared cultural heritage. Smoking, salting, curing and pickling will feature on the menu. Myself and my team of chefs will endeavor to probe the boundaries of Spanish and Irish food in relation to a wider European context. It will be local food through the lens of contemporary global food trends: Small plates of taste and texture with a little bit of theatre. This is the way forward for food as I see it.”
Fans of Cava will be delighted to know many of the old favourites will reappear on the new Cava Bodega menu such as patatas bravas, scallops with black pudding, pork belly and calamares (squid).
One major change in the menu structure is the addition of a Pinchos bar. Pinchos are small Basque-style canapés common in tapas bars all over Spain in particular San Sebastian. “We want to create a nice tapas feel upstairs, more informal, where you can have a drink and a Pincho. We’ll have a blackboard with a list of Pinchos, from Tortilla (Spanish Omelet), to Pulpo (octopus), Morcilla (black pudding), and Iberian Ham.” explains JP.
Drigin who has taken on the role of Project Manager for the renovation of the venue says, the interior is a homage to the interiors of original Bodegas in Spain, ‘The lively and casual atmosphere in Cava was very unique. It offered diners a relaxed and social atmosphere for groups but it was also intimate enough for cozy meals for two. We are recreating this feeling in Middle St but the style will be particular to the space.”
Drigin goes on to say, “In terms of the design, I am using the textures that are existing in the building by exposing the brick, the rough plaster and exposing the concrete ceiling. I am playing on these textures by introducing reclaimed wood, metalwork and vibrant colours. I am also working with recycled materials and reusing old chairs and tables. Downstairs will have a cellar feel to it, where we will be storing our wine and upstairs will be more like a tapas bar with high stools and Spanish jamons hanging from the bar.”
Cava Bodega will seat approximately 40 people in the downstairs area, while upstairs will seat 20 people with more seating at the bar area where ‘pinchos’ will be served.
Cava Bodega will open mid-September on Middles Street Galway. For more information see www.Eatgalway.ie
Notes To Editor:
Jp McMahon is a chef and restauranteur. He is culinary director of the EatGalway Restaurant Group, which comprises Aniar, Cava Bodega, and Eat Gastropub. Jp is committed to the educational and ethical aspects of food. He runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. He is committed to buying and supporting the best of local and free-range produce, engaging directly with small farmers. Current chairperson of the Galway Food Festival, Jp is an ambassador for Irish food and a network leader for the global Cook it Raw community project.
Jp also lectures in Art History in UCC and is currently finishing his PhD in Art History, which focuses on twentieth century American art. In conjunction with this, his restaurants regularly hosts exhibitions, sponsors local arts festivals and events, and promotes the arts on a local level in Galway.
Drigín has a passion for good food and wine and has worked in the catering industry (both as a chef and in front of house) since she was 16 years of age. Drigín’s love of fine food led her to study the art of chocolate making in 2008 and she is now a certified chocolatier. She has also developed a growing knowledge of wine from her many wine tastings, meetings with wine makers and from visiting various vineyards on her travels. Drigín also has many years of experience working in human resources, accounts and payroll. Her main focus in Cava is to manage the business side of the restaurant. Alongside Drigín’s love for good food and wine is her fondness of the arts. Drigín has an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and has worked as an actor, director and acting teacher. She says that, “running a restaurant is like putting on a different performance every night”. Drigín’s focus is to ensure that Cava’s performance continues to receive rave reviews.