£200,000 investment sees Poacher's Pocket serve up new experience

Outside the new-look Poacher’s Pocket is joint owner and Balloo Inns Group managing director Jennie Sweeney with employees Reece Hands and Paula Boyce

COMBER gastro-pub the Poacher's Pocket has re-opened following a £200,000 renovation which its owners believe will offer an enhanced customer experience.

Balloo Inns Group - whose portfolio includes Balloo House in Killinchy and the Parsons Nose in Hillsborough - has completely revamped the award-winning Lisbane hostelry, extending the front bar and offering patrons and culture enthusiasts a traditional country-chic pub experience.

Already well known for its focus on local products, the bar offers hand-picked home-grown ales, artisan gins and specialised whiskeys, while live music will be a strong feature with mid-week open traditional sessions and regular weekend appearances from singer songwriters like Ken Haddock and Matt McGinn.

The Poacher's Pocket opened in 2013 and since then has won an array of accolades, including Best Gastro-Pub in County Down at the Irish Restaurant Awards for the fourth year running. It was also awarded the 2018 title of Best Wine Experience.

Ronan Sweeney, joint owner and managing director of Balloo Inns with his wife Jennie, said: “We're particularly proud of the latest work at Poacher's Pocket. The redevelopment enables more customers to enjoy a memorable night out, with space to continue their evening and to socialise.

"The combination of great food with entertainment such as live music or pub quizzes means we can create truly memorable experiences. Our customers are our main benchmark, but the national award success is also appreciated and is down to the dedication of our 120-strong team in the Balloo Inns Group.”

The redevelopment builds on the venue's distinctive character, with York stone floor and dark wood panelling. It includes artwork from local artist Kathryn Callaghan, with the renovation design led by local commercial interior architect, Paul Haffey, providing acclaimed design solutions in the hospitality industry.

The Poacher's Pocket continues to work particularly closely with talented Northern Ireland suppliers, with local flavours incorporated into its award-winning menu.

It also stocks local produce on the shelves of the adjoining artisan food and wine shop, The Poacher's Pantry. The gourmet shop offers Poacher's own soups, sauces and baked goods from the kitchen as well as products from award-winning Hannan Meats, JN Wines and local brewers and distillers.

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