Business

Popular Ballynahinch restaurant Bull & Ram closes

The Bull & Ram restaurant in Ballynahinch has closed. Picture by Mal McCann

AN award-winning Ballynahinch restaurant has shut its doors after less than two years in operation.

The critically acclaimed Bull & Ram on Dromore Street closed earlier this week, with head chef and owner Kelan McMichael confirming he now plans to focus solely on the brand's other restaurant in Belfast, which opened on University Street in October. It is understood that all staff based in Ballynahinch have been relocated to Belfast as a result of the closure.

"I would like to thank our customers, my staff and our suppliers for the support and the many successes we have achieved and we look forward to the next culinary chapter which we plan to unveil in the not too distant future," Mr McMichael said.

"Our Belfast restaurant remains open as normal and and we are in the process of changing the menu with plans to introduce a ‘cafe' style menu which will offer a more international and fusion choice of food which reflects how our city is changing plus we will bring in an array of smaller dishes for people as this reflects how people like to eat today. We plan to extend our hours, opening for breakfast, brunch and dinner. We're excited about all the changes we have in place so do watch this space," he added.

Mr McMichael opened his first restaurant Bull & Ram in a former butcher's shop in Ballynahinch in June 2016, restoring an Edwardian building back to its former glory complete with the original meat hanging rail and herringbone oak ceiling. Within months of opening, the restaurant won three categories at the Yes Chef Awards, including the award for best casual dining in Ireland, while the popular eatery was also awarded Best Restaurant in Ulster at the 2017 Good Eating Guide and Best Newcomer in Ulster at the 2017 All Ireland Restaurant Awards. The second Bull & Ram restaurant opened at the old Beatrice Kennedy site on Belfast's University Street in October, creating 20 new jobs.

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