21st May 2019 in Business
A new £500,000 refurbishment of The Cloth Ear pub is further proof of continuing investment confidence in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.
That’s the view of Gareth Neill, manager of the Destination Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).
Beannchor, Northern Ireland’s leading hospitality group, owns The Cloth Ear, part of the five-star Merchant Hotel in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.
Described as a ‘traditional Irish Victorian pub, reimagined’, the significant refurbishment has resulted in the transformation of the interior at the bar.
The new look venue features a bold blue colour scheme, salvaged floors laid in a herringbone pattern, an ornate ceiling and a reclaimed Victorian back bar and fireplace.
At the heart of the renovation is a pledge from the owners to ‘reintroduce the gentle art of conversation’, with the refurbished space featuring a stripped back entertainment policy, encouraging customers to ditch their phones in a ‘phone gaol’.
Mr Neill said: “This new investment is absolutely fantastic for the area. It shows there is continuing business confidence in Cathedral Quarter.
“The Cloth Ear is a very popular venue and I think the Beannchor’s whole approach to the refurbishment has been so appropriate and well-timed.
“There’s always a need for a venue with a quiet, ambient atmosphere – where people can meet up for a chat and a bit of a catch-up – without having to compete with sport being shown on TV screens or live music.”
Beannchor director, Conall Wolsey explained: “Looking at society and how increasingly disconnected we are, we felt there was a gap in the market for a space that will genuinely encourage people to talk and connect with each other.
“Our customers have always enjoyed the more relaxed style of The Cloth Ear and this repositioning and evolution of the venue is focused on creating a warm, welcoming space that people can come and converse with each other.”
Reflecting on new food menu at the bar, head chef Ian McAdam added:
“Echoing the ‘back to basics’ approach of asking people to put away their phones, reconnect and talk to each other, we have created a menu that is based around good, wholesome food.
“Ingredients sourced from local Irish producers are the star of the show; this is about really good cooking, great flavours and fantastic ingredients.”
The redevelopment at The Cloth Ear comes just months after Beannchor completed a £350,000 revamp of The National Bar on neighbouring High Street.