Meet Jimmy, the owner of Bram’s Cafe in Fairview. Jimmy named his cafe after the well-known author, Bram Stocker. During our shoot, Jimmy informed me that Bram Stoker lived just across the road from the cafe – 15 The Crescent, Marino. It was in Fairview – or the smog that lurked in Fairview – that his creative mind started to develop the story of Count Dracula.
Bram’s Cafe has been a long-standing establishment in Fairview for over 19 years now. Jimmy has seen children grow up, stay in the area and even go on to see their children grow up. Over 90% of his trade are regulars made up of people that live in the area. Most of the parents and children know Jimmy well and always wave to him when walking past the store. There is an added reason to this though. Jimmy is a man of many faces, literally!
When he is not working hard in his cafe, Jimmy makes a conscious effort to give back to his community by organising a yearly Dracula event called Bram Stoker Spooktacular. (Which is advertised on Bram’s Cafe Facebook page) Together with a group of volunteers and aid of the Dublin City Council, Jimmy decorates the Bram Stoker Park next to where Bram Stoker lived in a spooky graveyard. While his friend, Paddy, dresses up as Count Dracula and lies in the coffin, Jimmy performs the ritual of killing Dracula. The children are encouraged to dress up too and they absolutely love it! Jimmy and Paddy perform a magical show for them in the eerily lit park to celebrate the story of Dracula and the life/death of Bram Stoker. This event is held the night before Halloween each year for everyone in the community to attend. I think that this is just magical! I can’t wait to see it this year.
Up until recently, Jimmy held a family fun day in Fairview Park, called The Lark in the Park. With live music, bouncy castles and a hum of activity this was a great success for many years but became too large an event for Jimmy and just a few volunteers to handle. He hopes one day he can start it up again. When I asked Jimmy what spurred him on to do such wonderful things for the community, his response was simple and yet so profound it punched me in the gut. ‘I feel that the community have supported me over the years by coming to my business and it is my philosophy that I should repay them back in some way.’
Jimmy is originally a Kerry boy. He moved to Marino over 30 years ago and established a life for himself here. The area of Fairview, Marino and Clontarf have stolen his heart it seems and so have the people in it!
“There is a really genuine friendliness of the people in Fairview…..this is handed down from generations.’