Famous John Long's chippy in Belfast wins license to sell alcohol
AFTER more than a century selling what it claims are the best fish and chips in Belfast, diners at John Long's can now enjoy a beer or a wine with their seafood.
It follows the Athol Street eaterie - which has been serving suppers since 1914 - being granted a liquor license for the first time.
"Long's is an iconic and historic part of Belfast's food offering, and we're delighted to have been successful with this license application," said Linus Murray, a director at O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors.
"Imagine, now you can enjoy your favourite vino with your favourite food - it was a great result for Long's and O'Reilly Stewart."
Long's lists itself alongside the Europa Hotel, Linen Hall Library, Peace Walls, Ulster Museum, Harland & Wolff cranes and the Crown Liquor Saloon as being among Belfast's unofficial top seven "wonders", and it is a huge draw not just with locals, but with cross-border visitors and international tourists.
According to its website blurb: "Long's is a bit of a local secret, but the word has got out. We've had a few of those actor types drop in for supper: Brendan Fraser, Sean Bean, and the lads from Take That (before they got too old!).
"Eamon Holmes even said that if he had only a couple of days to live, he'd end up at Long's for his last meal."
Despite its long history, Long's had had just three owners. At the end of 1914, John Long himself converted part of his grocery shop to sell fish & chips in what was then in a bustling area of Belfast closer to the Lagan.
Decades later in the early 1970s Walter Titterington took over the business and oversaw the move a few yards along the road to the present location, installing the formica furniture which is still in use today.
Its proximity to the much-bombed Europa Hotel and the nearby Grosvenor Road police station also forced Walter to erect the mesh window covers that are still there today and remain a feature of the building which present owner John Copeland (he arrived in 1996) still maintains.
Meanwhile the Greens Pizzeria on Belfast's Ormeau Road, a sister of its Lisburn Road restaurant, has also been newly licensed.