Lidl reveals plans to open first pub at new Dundonald supermarket
GERMAN discounter Lidl has confirmed plans to open its first pub on the island of Ireland in one of its supermarkets in the north.
The grocery chain has submitted a planning application to turn part of its new store in Dundonald into a public house.
Lidl returned to the site with a new £7 million concept store in November, demolishing an older building that it last occupied in 2012.
B&M Bargains had operated on the site for several years as a tenant.
The German retailer has started to roll out its modern concept design store in select locations.
What does a Lidl pub look like I hear you ask... pic.twitter.com/3yonX9qWXV— Ryan McAleer (@RyanMcAleerbiz) March 10, 2020
But now the new Dundonald store is set for another first that could soon see shoppers sitting down to a pint at the bar with their shopping.
In the planning application submitted to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Lidl has proposed changing a portion of the store from retail use to a public house.
The pub venture would be separate to the main supermarket, with its own separate access and customer toilets.
It would include an off-sales section, but in a departure from its other 37 stores in the north, Lidl would build a bar and seating area where customers could be served alcohol on site.
The planning application would also see the creation of a new shopfront for the pub.
In a statement to the Irish News, a spokesperson for the German supermarket chain said: “Lidl can confirm that it has lodged an application to open a licensed premises within our Dundonald store.
“This will offer shoppers an off licence service along with a public house.
“As the fastest growing retailer in Northern Ireland, we believe Dundonald shoppers should have the opportunity to access the same great value assortment currently enjoyed by thousands of shoppers in 37 other Lidl stores in Northern Ireland.”
Fast closing in on 40 stores across the north, Lidl has shown an inclination to experimental ventures here. Last year it announced plans to open a £2.6 million store inside a ready-built unit at the Holywood Exchange retail park.
It marked a departure from its traditional built-to-spec design stores elsewhere in the north.