Nil Points: Karen’s Diner

Posted 2 months ago in Food & Drink Features

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

Over the past eighteen months or so rumours persisted about a Dublin opening for Karen’s, the brash Aussie restaurant inspired by the internet meme of the same name. When we first heard about the idea we professed ourselves sceptical about its prospects.

We reckoned that in a city like Dublin, characterised by six degrees of separation, a population blessed with long memories, and politics based on century-old civil war divisions, it was hard to see why anyone would bother importing such abrasive hospitality practices here. And yet…

After a long wait, Karen’s has finally opened its doors on O’Connell Street, and reviewers have been reluctantly dropping in to check it out. This process has been going pretty much as expected, with a less than warm Irish welcome being extended to the self-styled ‘interactive diner’ famed the world over for its obnoxious interactions with customers.

The restaurant promises ‘five star food and one star service’, but the off-colour banter and tacky paper hats with hand-scrawled barbs are so far failing to land, especially in a city where diners resent a mandatory minimum spend of €20 per person for the experience.

The Indo’s restaurant critic Katy McGuinness recently rated it 0/30 for food, ambience and value, describing her burger as ‘not very good’, with the pizza she saw on other tables ‘looking as if it’s straight out of a supermarket freezer cabinet’. Ouch!

We may have to set Mr. Stevens on them…

Words: Martina Murray

Karen’s Diner, 46-49 O’Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1



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