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06 Oct 2022

Wave of nostalgia hits Donegal Town as old Browne's Café signage is uncovered

The people of Donegal Town are recalling happy times in the popular café

Wave of nostalgia hits Donegal Town as old Browne's Café signage is uncovered

Memories stirred as old signage for Browne's Atlantic Restaurant is uncovered following shop closure. PHOTO: Siobhán McNamara

As Footsteps shoe shop closed its doors on Donegal Town’s Main Street, the removal of its signage revealed an older sign that has stirred up a lot of memories.

The original painted signage for the Atlantic Restaurant - fondly known locally as Browne’s Café - has brought a lot of people back to their youth.

Standing on Main Street on Thursday morning, it really feels like the whole town is talking about Browne’s, sharing memories and recalling meals enjoyed long ago with loved ones no longer with us.

Ernan McGettigan whose father founded McGettigan’s Butchers, also on Main Street, recalls delivering lamb to the café, going to the kitchen where proprietor Billy Browne captained the well run ship.

Many others are remembering being treated to fish and chips on a Friday, or solving the world’s problems over endless pots of tea. 

It was a popular take away too - a bag of Browne’s chips drenched in salt and vinegar was an absolute delight on a nippy winter night. 

Whatever people’s memories are, there is a common thread of simple pleasures, of easier times, and above all else, of warmth and belonging in a traditional café that will always hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Donegal Town.

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