The National bar in Belfast reopens following £350k refurbishment

The National bar has reopened following a £350,000 refurbishment
Gareth McKeown

THE north's largest hospitality group has completed a £350,000 refurbishment of one of its Belfast bars.

The Beannchor Group, which includes The Merchant and Bullitt Hotels as well as the Little Wing pizza chain, has completed a significant redevelopment of The National bar on High Street.

The new-look venue, housed in the former National Bank Building, re-opened to the public at the weekend following a month-long renovation.

Work carried out at the popular Cathedral Quarter bar and eatery has resulted in revamped interiors and the introduction of a fully retractable roof and heating system in the National Garden outside space.

The food and drink offering has also been refreshed, with a focus on breakfast and lunch trade, high-quality coffee, craft beers and cocktails. In addition a range of

regular events will cater to the growing foodie scene in the city, including a new monthly Supper Club. Taking place on the first Monday of every month, each bespoke dining experience will reflect a different theme or cuisine, ranging from vegetarian to Indian themed nights.

Speaking at the weekend opening, Conall Wolsey, director of the Beannchor Group said constant innovation and improvement is crucial to remain ahead of the game.

"This project is about an evolution of our offering at The National; from the updated interiors that create a more comfortable, inviting environment through to our new and improved food and drink menus," he said.

“Above all, being a business with a social conscience has driven many of the changes, alongside the introduction of a range of new policies and initiatives that will lessen our environmental impact. Our vision is that The National will be a space that will have a positive impact, not just in terms of improving the local hospitality offering, but also in championing a more sustainable approach to business.”

The Beannchor Group has recently completed a multi-million pound expansion of Bullitt Belfast and expanded its network of Little Wing Pizzerias.

In November the group also revealed plans for a new £4m hotel in Lisburn, which if approved, would create 75 jobs.

The proposed 52-bedroom development at Lisburn Square is set to occupy around 30,000 sq ft of the existing scheme, comprising the former Argos store and adjoining first floor space.

It will also feature a destination ground floor bar and restaurant accessed from the central Lisburn Square piazza and open to both residents and non-residents.

Subject to planning approval the hotel, which would be the first to be located in Lisburn city centre, could open this summer.

The Beannchor Group employs more than 750 staff across 35 hotels, pubs and restaurants.

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