New gastro pub in Ballynahinch creates 10 jobs

Ulster Bank business development manager Derick Wilson (left) with husband and wife team Nick and Joanne Clough

TEN jobs are being created with the opening of a new gastro pub in Ballynahinch.

In the latest hospitality investment in the town, husband and wife team Nick and Joanne Clough have opened The Aniseed Lounge at the site of the former Cloisters/Dirty Nellie’s on Dromore Street.

Following extensive renovation, the new establishment has opened in time for the busy Christmas period.

It includes a gastro pub on the ground floor and will later extend to a first-floor function room and extended dining space, plus a beer garden to the rear.

Nick Clough is an experienced chef, having been head chef at Belfast's Malone Lodge Hotel and The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, and his wife Joanne is a qualified solicitor and university lecturer.

Joanne says the Aniseed Lounge will boast a warm, comfortable pub atmosphere coupled with top-quality dining.

“When the opportunity arose to lease the site in Ballynahinch, we approached Ulster Bank who have supported and guided us through the process since,” she added.

“Having returned home to Northern Ireland from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2015, we settled close to the Ballynahinch area.

"In recent years we have seen significant investment and interest in the area with a number of successful establishments opening for business, and we saw this as an ideal opportunity to add to the vibrant scene.”

Derick Wilson, business development manager at Ulster Bank, which backed the investment by the Cloughs, said: “We are extremely pleased to support Nick and Joanne on the development of their new business. We were struck by their enthusiasm, their thorough plans, and their vision for the business and venue.”

Nick Clough added: “Having worked as a chef for over 20 years, I believed that we could add a new, exciting dining experience to Ballynahinch and build upon the great work already being done in the area.

"We have fantastic plans for the venue over the coming months, with a view to opening an al fresco dining area in the beer garden, and refurbishing the first-floor function area, where we plan to host live music and comedy events.

“To date, the support and advice we have received locally is truly world-class, from outstanding legal advice from A&L Goodbody to business plan guidance from Grant Thornton, who then directed us to Ulster Bank who have provided the means for us to realise the potential of The Aniseed Lounge.”

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