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James Street South to merge two of their restaurants

Restaurateur Niall McKenna, owner and head chef of Belfast’s renowned James Street South Group, is merging his two iconic restaurants in Belfast city centre as part of a new £300,000 redevelopment project.
Kelly McAllister

James Street South chef Niall McKenna has unveiled plans to merge two of his restaurants in Belfast city centre.

The restaurateur is combining his James Street South restaurant and its neighbour, James Street bar and grill, as part of a new £300,000 redevelopment project.

The leading hospitality groups latest venture will support 15 jobs during the design, building and fit-out stages of the project, with a further 35 full and part-time jobs becoming available once the restaurant opens in September.

The group said that it was blending its greatest assets under one restaurant roof to accommodate burgeoning demand from a growing base of local and international visitors for a more bistro-style all-day dining experience.

It has been confirmed that work on the new venture will begin in early August, James Street South will close for a five-week targeted fit-out and the Bar and Grill will be closed during the last two weeks of August.

Niall's other two restaurants, Hadskis and Cast and Crew, will operate as normal during this period.

The new restaurant will be a welcome addition to Belfast's linen quarter which has some of Belfast's newest hotels such as the new Grand Central, the Flint, the Maldron and the city's first EasyHotel.

James Street South owner, Niall McKenna said: “This is a really exciting time for us and the city of Belfast. Lonely Planet has decreed Belfast as the place to visit in 2018, and with many new hotels open and planned, coupled with record visitor numbers, Belfast's potential is fast being realised.

“As a dedicated team, we are immensely proud of our achievements we have made over 15 years, but the dining experience has evolved, and the time feels right to adapt to the change in customer tastes.”

He added: “We are currently working on a new name and brand for this venture, which we'll announce in the coming weeks and we look forward to welcoming customers old and new when we launch in September.”

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