Skip to main content
Our venues

2 Royal Avenue

  • Opening hours

    Our opening hours are 10am until 5pm, Monday to Sunday. The coffee shop closes at 4.30pm.

  • The venue

    We’ve transformed 2 Royal Avenue (the former Tesco building) into a meanwhile use city centre space in a new approach to experiential tourism and culture in the city.  

    The opening of this venue marks the beginning of an exciting upscaled programme of culture and creativity for the city between 2022-2024. Delivering on many of the ambitions of our cultural strategy, 2 Royal Avenue will host a wide variety of events and experiences delivered in partnership with the city’s cultural sector from now until end of March 2022, made possible by funding from Tourism NI.

  • Come on in

    The space has been designed to create a sense of calm and wonder. Surrounded with plant life and bespoke artworks by Irish street artist Decoy, 2 Royal Avenue is also a place to come in and take some time out, look around or simply grab a coffee and a bite to eat in the coffee shop.

  • Things to see and do

    Come on in and enjoy the coffee shop with local produce, live music at the grand piano and the Art Unwrapped exhibition. The focus for January The focus for January is health and well-being. To book yoga and mindfulness sessions, go to Arts and Belfast Music (link opens in a new window).

     Look out for a new spring programme which will include:

    • music gigs
    • pop-up markets
    • visual art and exhibitions
    • creative workshops

    For latest event information, go to Arts and Belfast Music (link opens in a new window).

  • Music focus

    There is a focus on music activity following the city’s recent UNESCO City of Music designation. 2 Royal Avenue delivers on the ambitions we set out in our UNESCO bid on transforming vacant spaces into cultural spaces in our city.

  • What next?

    Following a burst of music activities from now until Christmas, an exciting programme will be launched in the new year, including more music and exhibitions - plus talks, fashion, food and activities that focus on climate, sustainability and biodiversity.

  • Embracing the Giant Spirit

    This pilot project runs until March 2022. It has been funded through Tourism NI’s Market Led Product Development Programme, working in partnership, to enhance the visitor experience within Belfast and Northern Ireland in support of the Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit campaign.

  • COVID status certification

    Everyone entering 2 Royal Avenue will be asked for COVID status certification on arrival as it is a mixed-use building, which includes organised events. This is in line with legislation introduced on 29 November 2021. Read more information on COVID-19 status certification

  • History of the building

    2 Royal Avenue was designed by WJ Barre between 1864 and 1869. Originally the building was the head office of the Provincial Bank of Ireland.

    Barre was a prolific Irish architect who built many well-known buildings in Ireland in a Gothic Revival style. His best known works include the Albert Memorial Clock and Ulster Hall. When Barre died following a short by illness in 1867 at the age of 37, architecture firm Turner and Williamson completed the building.

    The impressive seven-bay fa├žade is missing an elaborate sculpture that was intended for the pediment. A key feature is the beautiful, circular dome over an octagonal arcade. It is supported by corbelled columns that lead up to a Gothic gallery.

    In the 1990s, the building was converted into a Tesco Metro store, with architects from the firm WDR and RT Taggart restoring the building.

  • Coffee shop

    The coffee shop serves a range of indulgences including Fairtrade hot drinks and delicious sweet treats prepared by local bakers. With plenty of space and comfortable seating, come on in and enjoy a winter warmer in our new public space.

  • Venue usage

    If you want to ask about using the venue for a cultural event, please email culture@belfastcity.gov.uk

Read aloud icon Read aloud