Popular Glasgow eatery Pizza Punks to open in Belfast

Glasgow eatery Pizza Punks is set to open its second restaurant at Longbridge House in Belfast city centre
Gareth McKeown

A POPULAR Glasgow pizza restaurant and takeaway bar is set to open its first Northern Ireland outlet in the heart of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.

The Irish News can reveal that pizza trailblazers Pizza Punks have agreed a deal to move into Longbridge House, on the corner of Waring and Hill Street. The city centre office, which once housed the north's industrial tribunals courts, was sold to Holywood property developers Wirefox in May last year and just last week Irish restaurant chain Bunsen Burger moved in as the first tenant.

The burger bar, which has five locations in the Republic is creating up to 25 jobs through a £200,000 investment from cousins Tom and Finn Gleeson, officially opening its doors on Saturday past.

It is understood that contracts have been signed for Pizza Punks to open its first restaurant in the north and second overall, with the new wood-fired pizza parlour set to be operational as early as February and create over a dozen jobs.

Pizza Punks opened its first outlet on St Vincent's Street in Glasgow last September and a year since its emergence, has proved a popular addition to the burgeoning local market.

The restaurant gives customers the option to put as many toppings as they want on its signature sour-dough base for the same price, while also offering wine on tap, tank beer, hand-crafted cocktails and locally-brewed coffee. Along with Artisan pizza, diners can expect wood-fired roasts, premium cured meats, a selection of cheeses, fresh breads and innovative breakfasts, with daily-changing specials.

Seeing themselves as architects of a pizza revolution the Scottish firm says it is inspired by a love of "proper pizza" and motivated by a drive to do "something different" and "something unique".

The new business is part of the wider regeneration of the Hill Street area, which includes a separate £1 million-plus investment by entrepreneur and publican Willie Jack.

The initiative includes a mixed use scheme in Hill Street comprising an arts and crafts workshop, bar, apartments and restaurant.

Mr Jack said the development will "add to the vibrancy of the area" and revealed that the scheme also includes the restoration of one of the famous Belfast venue names - the Orpheus Ball Room, which is set to become a new city art gallery.

Named after the famous ball room, the gallery will be dedicated to showcasing the best of Belfast's community artists and photographers and will feature many items reclaimed from the original Orpheus Ball Room.

The gallery, due to open next year, also includes architectural features rescued from other well-known Belfast attractions, including all the unique satinwood panelling from the RMS Walmer Castle passenger ship, built in the city by Harland & Wolff in 1902.

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