New lease of life for former Margate venue as brothers open Cafe Darcy

Brothers Kevin (left) and Darren Barrett have opened Cafe Darcy

Two brothers have given the former Kalli’s café in Margate a new lease of life.

Kevin and Darren Barrett took on the Marine Gardens site in November and gave the café its first refurbishment since 1974 before reopening last month (February) as Café Darcy.

The pair decided to venture out on their own after four years as the caterers for the Westgate and Birchington Golf Club.

Darren, who lives in Broadstairs, said: “We have both been in catering since we were 16.  I have run pubs for Shepherd Neame and we have both also worked in hotels and small independent and chain hospitality businesses.

“About five years ago we started working together and, after four years at the golf club, we decided to do something different for ourselves.

“We started looking for somewhere central, I’m in Broadstairs and Kevin is in Westbrook, and then Kalli’s came up in Margate.”


The brothers, who are originally from Ireland, were working full time and then setting to work on the refurbishment in the evenings and any other spare time throughout January.

The work has involved an overhaul of the kitchen, a new back area and a fresh look for the customer area with redecoration and bargains picked up on selling sites. Part of Kalli’s does remain in the form of black and white photos of old Margate, which have been reframed and put on show.

Five staff are employed at Café Darcy, which has been receiving positive reviews.

Darren, 43, and dad-of-four Kevin, 48, have enticed back Kalli’s customers and attracted new visitors with a menu that has everything from American pancakes and super milkshakes to doorstep sandwiches, winter warmers such as homemade chef’s pie and, of course, the full English breakfast, with options for The Darcy, Elephant Hill and a vegetarian feast.

Darren said: “Everyone has been very positive about the change and Margate seems to be really up and coming.”

Café Darcy is at 21 Marine Gardens. Find them on facebook here


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