Many cafés use loyalty cards to encourage customers to return – but they will struggle to find anyone as loyal as 90-year-old Denis Shields, who has been regularly visiting Bewley's cafés in Dublin since 1962The café’s owners rewarded their loyal customer yesterday, with a celebration for his 90th birthday.
Bewley’s estimates that Mr Shields has had over 30,000 cups of coffee at the company’s cafés since his first visit, nearly six decades ago.He ordered his first cup the year The Beatles released their first singleSpeaking at yesterday’s event at the Bewley’s café on Grafton Street, Mr Shields said: "This feels like a walk through history, a moment that will live with me until I go to the grave."
"The memories are powerful. I have met so many good friends here."
Originally from a large farming family in Banagher, Co Offaly, Mr Shields moved to the capital after securing a job in the bedding department of Clerys, strolling to Bewley’s on Westmoreland Street for daily coffee before making the Grafton Street café his second home.
"It all started on the first morning I was in town. I went into Westmoreland Street at 7.30am.
"I always spoke to people, I always said 'good morning’ or ‘good luck’, some would talk to you and others wouldn’t reply.
"I loved a latte and sometimes I’d take a bun with it. The staff would see me coming and they’d be getting it ready.
"I had a great time there, I loved it. People now are in such a terrible rush, hurrying to do things and go places.
"But Bewley’s is a marvellous place, it is where the generations intersect and its standards have never dropped."
The GAA fanatic kept up his daily trips to his favourite haunt until recently, when he moved into a south-Dublin nursing home.