A new pizzeria and bakery at a hotel in Belfast city centre will open in July as part of a £11m investment, its owners have said.
Amelia Hall will trade from the ground floor of Howard Street's The Flint Hotel, which is being overhauled by Ben and Peter Ringland, owners of Town Square off Botanic Avenue.
Their new 7,000 sq ft venue will also incorporate a cocktail bar and beer hall, while phase two of the brothers’ investment will add another 63 bedrooms and a rooftop bar.
Peter said the pair had spent £0.5m alone on restoring the facade of the building, on the corner of Howard Street and Brunswick Street.
He said Amelia Hall, named after nearby Amelia Street, will open in July, with another £7m to be spent on the next phase of development.
But he said the launch would not be capitalising on the closure of venues or the reduction in hours at others, such as nearby Deanes Eipic, which shut in December.
Last month, Mourne Seafood Bar at Bank Street announced it would not be opening at lunchtimes until springtime, due to a lack of trade.
Mr Ringland said: “It’s going to be a 95-seat bar and restaurant, open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.
"It’s not about capitalising on places that have closed down but it’s about providing a bit more of an experience.
"We’re finding customers aren’t content with the traditional hospitality offerings but want something a bit more experiential.
“We’re certainly trying to offer something on quite a big scale that Belfast hasn't seen before.
“We’re going to have a hanging DJ booth above the bar not far from the front facade which you’re going to be able to see from the street.
“We’re taking everything up a level. We’ve had the experience of operating Town Square and that’s open all day and does well.
“Already it looks quite impressive now that we’ve done the whole facade.”
And he said he was hoping for a busy summer when Amelia Hall opens – with another even bigger dividend expected from a nearby transport development.
"The opening of Grand Central Station on Great Victoria Street means we’ll be the main thoroughfare from it to the city centre, and that’s been a big driver for us to continue investment.
“We are looking forward to it and we’re now very busy trying to hire for 40 or 50 staff to run it for us.”
Hotel projects were identified as a bright spot in construction activity in Belfast in business advisory firm Deloitte’s annual Belfast Crane Survey this week.
It said that there had been one hotel completed in Belfast during 2023, understood to be a reference to room2 Belfast in Queen Street. And another two hotels are under construction – including a new hotel at Hamilton Dock in Titanic Quarter.
Deloitte said planning permission had been given to another nine hotels in the city over the year, including a 120-bed development at Waring Street.
Source: Belfast Telegraph (link opens in new window)