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Famous London restaurant The Ivy to open in Belfast this year

Published on 17 January 2024

The luxury of London’s famous Ivy is coming to Belfast later this year.

The restaurant chain is now beginning fit out at part of the former Cleaver House building at Donegall Place.

It comes two years after the Belfast Telegraph revealed the chain was taking over the site and bringing its first restaurant to Northern Ireland.

It’s also understood the restaurant could be open in time for Christmas this year.

The Ivy Collection wants to turn part of Cleaver House into a new two-storey restaurant.

With the listed Cleaver House building, much of its external and internal character remains.

The building was originally constructed in 1888, designed by architect Young & Mackenzie, and was a department store until 1984.

The restaurant chain opened its original location at West Street in London more than a century ago. It now runs more than 30 restaurants across the UK, including cafes and brasseries. It opened its first location in Dublin in 2018.

The firm expanded with a series of different restaurant brands and concepts, such as Ivy Brasseries, Ivy Cafes and The Ivy Asia.

Early plans for the new Belfast restaurant include new work which will see internal alterations to strip back all modern shop fitouts, including fixed seating, kitchen equipment and stud walls back to its pre-fitout bare shell, according to an application for listed building consent. There will also be alterations made to re-instate timber shopfronts with full height glazing.

The original Ivy marked its centenary in 2017, and remains arguably London’s most famous restaurant.

It was first opened by Abel Giandolini as an Italian cafe in a building on the same site.

And some of those cited as fans of the restaurant include Laurence Olivier, Noel Coward, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and David and Victoria Beckham.

Meanwhile, a table which hosted both Princess Diana and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher went up for auction in 2015.

Source: Belfast Telegraph (link opens in new window)