Casper & Giumbini’s – Carrying on a family tradition of providing excellent food and drink
Casper & Giumbini’s may be a new addition to Dun Laoghaire’s Pavillion, but owners and brother-and-sister team Dave & Kim O’Driscoll are no strangers to Dun Laoghaire Town or the local restaurant scene. Dave and Kim are the duo behind the ever-popular Devilles down the road in Dalkey. In 2019, they added Casper & Giumbini’s to their portfolio to offer their same laid-back 5* setting overlooking our iconic pier.
Long-time residents may think they recognise the name – and if so, you’re right. The name Casper & Giumbini’s plays homage to David and Kim’s childhood. Back in the early 1980s, their father, Murph O’Driscoll, and his brother, Kevin, opened the original Casper & Giumbin in on Wicklow Street. The name is in the family, too: Casper is the duo’s maternal grandmother’s maiden name and Giumbini was her mother-in-law’s maiden name. In the 1990s, Murph and Kevin pivoted from restaurants to franchises: they brought Domino’s Pizza to Ireland. The pair are now retired but always on hand to lend support to Dave and Kim.
A family tradition
Dave and Kim have always been in the restaurant business, and they describe their career trajectory as “probably inevitable,” despite their father Murph’s advice to stay away from the restaurant and franchise business. The pair started in restaurants and bars around the area as soon as they could work. Kim started out as the lounge girl in the Club in Dalkey, and Dave was a barback in the Merrion Inn. They both then traversed the restaurant scene at home (Ely, Green Hen) and abroad (New York City, Montauk, and Fire Island). But was a local, family-run restaurant on the cards? If you had asked then, it looked unlikely.
As Kim said,
“We only actually worked together for a short time in Ely and Green Hen and my brother and I had always talked about doing our own thing but originally never together.”
Now, Kim suggests their partnership was inevitable. After all, blood is thicker than water. Kim told us: “The best thing about working with family is knowing you have each other’s best interests at the end of the day and if we do lock heads there is always our mum, dad, uncle or brother as a third opinion or to play mediator.”
It’s one thing to open and run one successful restaurant. Much like having a second child, the second business is a whole different experience. “When we opened Devilles, we were full of excitement and both child-free so less pressure. Opening Capser’s, we were older, we both have families now, and there was definitely a feeling of pressure mixed in with some anxiety.”
The journey to their new Dún Laoghaire Location
Like all businesses, their journey to opening day began long before they sat the first customers down.
“The fit out was definitely the most challenging as it took a lot longer and cost a lot more than we ever imagined. We signed August 2018 and opened Sept 2019.”
What was that first day like?
Kim: “I remember thinking FINALLY … and I hope we fill the seats.” And they have been getting rave reviews from customers ever since as can be seen from the Google reviews below.
Why do they love Dun Laoghaire?
Kim said, “I love Dun Laoghaire because there are more and more reasons for going there now. I think the more restaurants or eateries on offer in a place like here the better. We now have the People’s Park, a great pier to walk, an evening at the cinema or at the Pavilion Theatre.”
Of course, the new place was only just finding its groove when Covid-19 hit and restaurants were ordered closed. While there’s no doubt that the recent months have been a nail-biting time for all of hospitality, Kim reminded us that even in the uncertainty, there’s inspiration to be found.
After closing their doors in Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey, Kim and Dave found support in all kinds of places.
“The nicest thing was our bar manager, Zoro, quite sincerely offering his services from day one and for free until we are fully operational again. He started working with us in 2014 and is part of the furniture at this point. He just wanted to do anything to help us out which was lovely. We obviously declined the free part but he has been a great help.”
“We also received emails asking if customers could buy vouchers from us as they wanted to support us to make sure we were there for the other end of this. That, along with a lot of support and kind words, and even people wanting to book a table from when we reopen, has been great.”
What’s on offer during the COVID-19 restrictions
How can you help support Caspar & Giumbini’s during this time? Well, takeaway is an easy way to lend a hand and get a delicious restaurant meal in return. You can order takeaway (including bbq packs) by phone. Those who prefer to order online can find Casper & Giumbini’s on Stuffuneed.ie.
Enter the Love Dún Laoghaire Day Competition – May 2020
Casper & Giumbini’s are partners in the inaugural Love Dun Laoghaire Day, it’s easy to enter, just click the image below and follow the instructions! We look forward to receiving your entry.