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MARCH 2019

The VOICE of Northern Ireland’s catering, licensing and tourism industry

2019 brought to you by


4 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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THE TEAM & CONTACTS Editor: Alyson Magee

Manager: Mark Glover

Art Editor Helen Wright

Production Manager: Irene Fitzsimmons

CELEBRATING THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES IN NORTHERN IRELAND 2019

Published by Independent News & Media Ltd: Hospitality Review NI Independent News & Media Belfast Telegraph House 33 Clarendon Road Clarendon Dock, Belfast BT1 3BG

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Contact: Editorial: a.magee@independentmagazinesni.co.uk. Tel: 028 9026 4175 Sales: m.glover@independentmagazinesni.co.uk. Tel: 028 9026 4266 The Review is the official publication for: Hospitality Ulster: 91 University Street, Belfast, BT7 1HP. Tel: 028 9032 7578. Chief Executive: Colin Neill Chairperson: Mark Stewart Design & Production by: Independent News & Media Ltd Printed by: W. & G. Baird Ltd. The opinions expressed in Hospitality Review are not necessarily those of Hospitality Ulster.

Mark Stewart, chair of Hospitality Ulster

e are very pleased to be introducing The Top 100 Hospitality Businesses in Northern Ireland for a second year, after the successful launch of the new awards format in 2018. Quite a few new names have made the list in 2019, and we also offer our congratulations to those entrants successful for a second year. Celebrating the best of our hospitality industry across Northern Ireland, Hospitality Ulster has welcomed the positive reception to The Top 100 which recognises those who, through their premises, staff and product offer, encompass the very essence of our unique hospitality industry and go the extra mile to deliver a great customer experience serving both their target audience and customer demographic. The Top 100 Hospitality Businesses are unique as the only awards made by the industry to the industry, recognising every sector of our industry, the diversity of our offer and the people who make our industry great. I would like to thank our partners who work with us throughout the year and our sponsors who, together, have made The Top 100 Hospitality Businesses awards possible. I look forward to visiting as many of the 2019 Top 100 Hospitality Businesses as possible in the coming year.

Hospitality Review is a copyright of Š Independent News & Media Ltd 2016

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THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 5


THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY PREMISES NAME Anchor Bar Complex Angler’s Rest Auction Rooms Balloo House Bank Bar & Bistro Billy Andys Bishop’s Gate Hotel Blackbird Blakes of the Hollow Brewer’s House Bridge Bar Browns Restaurant Bull & Claw Bullitt Bushmills Inn Canal Court Cellar Bar Church Street Coachman Coppi Corner House Corr’s Corner Crosskeys Inn Crowne Plaza Cyprus Avenue Deanes at Queens Deanes EIPIC Dirty Onion Dorman’s Bar Duke of York EDO Entrada Errigle Inn Europa Hotel Friels Bar & Restaurant Front Page Fullerton Arms Galgorm Resort & Spa Garrick Ginger Bistro Goat’s Toe Grand Central Granny Annie’s Guildhall Taphouse Hadski’s Hagan’s Bar & Bar Bella Harp Bar Head O’The Road Henry’s / Jailhouse Hillside Bar & Restaurant

TOWN Portstewart Benone Moy Killinchy Newry Raloo Derry-Londonderry Derry-Londonderry Enniskillen Donaghmore Newry Derry-Londonderry Donaghadee Belfast Bushmills Newry Lurgan Magherafelt Magherafelt Belfast Lurgan Newtownabbey Toome Belfast Belfast Belfast Belfast Belfast Magherafelt Belfast Belfast Derry-Londonderry Belfast Belfast Swatragh Ballymena Ballintoy Ballymena Belfast Belfast Bangor Belfast Limavady Derry-Londonderry Belfast Dungannon Belfast Portadown Belfast Hillsborough

6 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

PREMISES TYPE / CATEGORY URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS RURAL PUBS RURAL PUBS URBAN PUBS RURAL PUBS HOTELS CITY PUBS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS RURAL PUBS HOTELS HOTELS HOTELS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS HOTELS RURAL PUBS HOTELS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS CITY PUBS URBAN PUBS CITY PUBS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS HOTELS RURAL PUBS URBAN PUBS RURAL PUBS HOTELS CITY PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS HOTELS RESTAURANTS CITY PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS CITY PUBS RURAL PUBS CITY PUBS RURAL PUBS

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BUSINESSES - FULL LISTINGS PREMISES NAME Hop House House Howard Street Jumon Keegan’s Bar Kelly’s Cellars Killyhevlin Kiwi’s Brew Bar La Taqueria Laverys Limelight Lobster Pot Londonderry Arms Lough Erne Resort Mary McBride’s Mattie’s Meeting House McAleers Bar McConville’s Merchant Hotel Millbrook Lodge Hotel Morning Star Muddlers Club NOBLE Northern Lights Northern Whig Nu Delhi Number Seven Duke Street Ocho Tapas O’Neill’s (Red Ned’s) Ownies Bar & Bistro OX Peadar O’Donnell’s Portaferry Hotel Primrose Ramore Wine Bar Rostrevor Inn Ruby’s Bar Sally’s Saltwater Brig Sandinos Café Bar Shepherd’s Rest Shu Spaniard Still House Sunflower Taphouse Gastro Pub Union Street Bar Voodoo Wine & Brine Yugo www.hospitalityreviewni.com

TOWN Bangor Belfast Belfast Belfast Armagh Belfast Enniskillen Portrush Belfast Belfast Belfast Strangford Carnlough Enniskillen Cushendun Cairncastle Dungannon Portadown Belfast Ballynahinch Belfast Belfast Holywood Belfast Belfast Belfast Warrenpoint Portrush Armagh Carrickfergus Belfast Derry-Londonderry Portaferry Derry-Londonderry Portrush Rostrevor Larne Omagh Kircubbin Derry-Londonderry Draperstown Belfast Belfast Moira Belfast Enniskillen Belfast Belfast Moira Belfast

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PREMISES TYPE / CATEGORY URBAN PUBS

HOTELS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS CITY PUBS HOTELS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS CITY PUBS CITY PUBS RURAL PUBS HOTELS HOTELS RURAL PUBS RURAL PUBS URBAN PUBS URBAN PUBS HOTELS HOTELS CITY PUBS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS CITY PUBS CITY PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS URBAN PUBS RESTAURANTS CITY PUBS HOTELS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS URBAN PUBS URBAN PUBS URBAN PUBS RURAL PUBS CITY PUBS RURAL PUBS RESTAURANTS CITY PUBS URBAN PUBS CITY PUBS RURAL PUBS CITY PUBS CITY PUBS RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS

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THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 7


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

ANCHOR BAR COMPLEX 86-87 THE PROMENADE, PORTSTEWART TEL: 028 7083 2003 WEB: www.theanchorbar.co.uk

ANCHOR BAR COMPLEX LOCATION: PORTSTEWART OWNER: DANNY COYLES, GM ON OFFER: Everyone in Portstewart knows the Anchor; it’s been part of the town since 1898, making it one of the oldest licensed premises on the North Coast and the social hub of the town. Situated within easy access to Portstewart’s picturesque promenade and all of the town’s amenities, the Complex includes: THE ANCHOR BAR: Winner of best bar, best visitor/tourism pub and best entertainment venue in the county, as well as Northern Ireland’s best food pub, the Anchor is renowned for its friendly staff and great service. It offers nightly entertainment featuring live bands, traditional music sessions and the everpopular karaoke. THE ANCHORAGE INN: The Anchorage Inn became part of the Anchor Complex in 1996 and was awarded four-star status in 2012, following an extensive refurbishment of the 20 ensuite bedrooms. The tastefully decorated bedrooms are

renowned for their comfortable beds and high standards of cleanliness. THE ANCHORAGE BISTRO: The Anchorage Bistro is a feature of the four-star Anchorage Inn in Portstewart’s lively Anchor Complex. The location is hard to beat, smack bang on the Promenade and the award-winning food is very good. With a menu featuring dishes such as Bushmills whiskey sausages and fresh local catch of the day, land and sea is well represented. There is nightly entertainment, always free to guests and diners. AURA NIGHTCLUB: Now one of the North’s hottest nightclubs, this sumptuously decorated venue offers something for all age groups with its buzzing student Tuesdays and weekend entertainment to 1.30am. HISTORY: The original Anchor Bar opened in 1898, with the Anchorage Inn making its debut in 1996 and Aura Nightclub in 2004. The Anchor is a proud sponsor of famous North West 200 as well as

ANGLER’S REST LOCATION: BENONE

several local sports teams and plays a big part in the local community, hosting many events and fundraisers throughout the year. It has received an Award of Excellence from Booking.com and is accredited by Taste of Ulster and as a WorldHost Business.

AUCTION ROOMS LOCATION: MOY

OWNER: DEIGHAN FAMILY

OWNER: BRIAN McANENLY

ON OFFER: Traditional country pub located close to Benone Beach with scenic views of Binevenagh. Bestsellers include smoked seafood chowder, Corndale Farm ‘ham & eggs’ and salt cured Greencastle beer battered fish with beef dripping chips. Daily/weekly specials include Portavogie lobster thermidor, crispy salt and chilli squid and pan-roasted venison. A small pantry sells produce such as Guinness bread, onion chutney and jalapeno ketchup.

ON OFFER: Whether enjoying a night of fun with friends or planning a special event using its private party planning services, The Auction Rooms has it covered. On offer is a wide range of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers; served by highly trained staff with a wide range of food options available including breakfast, lunch and party package food. The Auction Rooms also offers a range of wide sporting events in its multi-screen venue.

STYLE: An unpromising exterior belies the Angler’s Rest’s cosy, modern interior. USPs: Head Chef Chris Furey sources from local suppliers such as Corndale Farm, Broighter Gold and Abernethy Butter, and hosts foodie events such as a Chocolate Tasting Night with Chocolate Manor NI. 8 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

STYLE: The newly refurbished, classy and exciting venue includes a trendy bar and cocktail lounge over an extensive ground floor created to offer the ultimate standards in comfort. USPs: Self styled as mid Ulster’s number one party venue, The Auction Rooms offers packages to suit all needs. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

BALLOO HOUSE

LOCATION: KILLINCHY

THE BANK BAR LOCATION: NEWRY

OWNER: RONAN SWEENEY, OWNER & GM

OWNER: DAVID OG DOWNEY

ON OFFER: A historic country pub and restaurant on Strangford Lough, Balloo House offers casual dining in its bistro and fine dining in its upstairs restaurant. A £150,000 refurbishment of the upstairs restaurant is due to start this spring.

ON OFFER: Set in the heart of Newry City Centre, The Bank Bar is the city’s jewel in the crown, serving up delicious homecooked food and premium drinks. Live entertainment plays every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and live sport is offered on the big screen. Catering for all ages of customer, the huge complex includes an award-winning spacious bar and restaurant, six multi-purpose function rooms, the biggest beer garden in town, two nightclubs and the Auld Shebeen (said to be Newry’s best kept secret).

HISTORY: Balloo House has a 400-year history in hospitality. The Balloo Inns Group also includes The Parson’s Nose in Hillsborough and The Poacher’s Pocket in Lisbane. USPs: The multi-award-winning venue has recently appointed Danni Barry, who was awarded a Michelin star while at Deanes Eipic, as executive head chef. Sweeney said Barry’s passion for authentic flavours, fresh local fish and quality seasonal produce will complement the values and ethos of the Balloo Inns Group, with her menus featuring elegant seafood dishes and popular pub classics.

BILLY ANDYS

LOCATION: RALOO, CO ANTRIM OWNERS: RICHARD & ANNA HUNTER; JOHN McCONNELL, GENERAL MANAGER ON OFFER: Billy Andys is a 19th century traditional pub near the picturesque village of Glenoe which has, over the years, expanded its offer to include contemporary fine food at reasonable prices in its 100-seat restaurant. HISTORY: One of the few original licensed spirit grocers still left in the country, it has passed through generations of the McWilliams family, falling under its current ownership in 1990. STYLE: With peat fires, low ceilings, live music and a fine selection of beers and whiskies, Billy Andys remains true to its historic roots. Entering its ‘snug’ feels like taking a step back in time; seating approximately 30 people, it’s the perfect location to rest those weary legs over a pint of Guinness. USPs: Food is a big draw at Billy Andys, with Head Chef Terry Dalrymple named Pub Chef of the Year for Northern Ireland in 2018 while the restaurant is listed in the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide. The focus is on the finest, in season, local and sustainable produce available, working closely with small artisan food producers such as Finnebrogue for venison and lamb, and a neighbouring farm and local gamekeeper for rare breed pork and wild game. 10 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

USPs: Luxurious and comfortable surroundings, alongside warm and friendly staff, have resulted in a devoted clientele appreciating The Bank’s value-for-money offer. The food menu includes a wide selection of gourmet burgers, pasta, butchers’ cuts and traditional Irish bar dishes, featuring meats reared on a family farm, complemented by extensive premium cocktail, beer, wine and spirit lists and nightly entertainment, always free to guests and diners.

BISHOP’S GATE HOTEL

LOCATION: DERRY-LONDONDERRY OWNER: CIARAN O’NEILL, MANAGING DIRECTOR. HISTORY: The exquisite Grade B1-listed Bishop’s Gate Hotel is perfectly positioned within the historic city walls in the heart of Derry City’s Cathedral Quarter. Built in 1899, this hotel blends stunning Edwardian architecture, stylish appointments and luxurious facilities which have been sensitively restored to pay homage to the rich heritage of the building, whilst exceeding the contemporary needs and desires of its guests. STYLE: In its reincarnation, no detail has been left to chance. This iconic landmark is an intimate urban oasis featuring 30 luxurious guestrooms. USPs: TripAdvisor has featured the Bishop’s Gate Hotel in DerryLondonderry in its annual UK Travellers’ Choice awards for the third year in a row. This year, the luxurious, boutique hotel ranked second on this coveted list, and Bishop’s Gate took the number three spot in 2018. Featured in three categories, the ratings are an indication of the continued appeal of Bishop’s Gate and demonstrate the consistently high standard of customer service that is delivered to all visitors. Based on reviews from millions of travellers, Bishop’s Gate is in the top 1% of hotels in the UK. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

BLACKBIRD

LOCATION: DERRY-LONDONDERRY OWNER: SARAH SIMPSON

LOCATION: ENNISKILLEN OWNER: PATRICK BLAKE

HISTORY: The Blackbird first opened its doors to the public in March of 2016. Since then, the popular spot has grown from strength to strength, creating something that little bit different. STYLE: Sitting in the amply decorated bar, it is obvious how much thought has gone into the detail of the decor. Its retro vibes, combined with the authenticity of the brass finishes, make it very easy on the eye. USPs: Live music every evening creates a relaxing ambience when sitting back and savouring the generous range of brews from local breweries and some further afield, not to mention the extensive gin menu and cocktails that have become local household names. The friendly staff are always at hand to advise on choices, providing a top-class service. Whether you are simply waiting on a bus or planning to spend a weekend in Derry/Londonderry, a visit to the Blackbird is a must.

THE BREWER’S HOUSE

LOCATION: DONAGHMORE, CO TYRONE OWNERS: CIARAN & VICKI McCAUSLAND ON OFFER: The Brewer’s House is a restaurant offering the finest quality of food, backed up with a serious drinks menu offering the best of local and international craft beers and spirits, an eclectic wine list and a cracking cocktail list. HISTORY: Ciaran and Vicki opened The Brewer’s House in 2011 in a licensed coaching house that has been in the family for some seven generations. They drew inspiration from the gastropubs they frequented while living in London for 10 years. The aim was to provide top quality food and service in a homely and relaxed atmosphere. Quality ingredients are sourced as locally as possible with the menu changing seasonally. The Brewer’s House won Best Gastropub in Ireland in 2014. STYLE: Refurbished in 2017, the premises offer a traditional and comfortable atmosphere with contemporary lighting and artwork. USPs: The highest quality of food, drinks and service in a very warm and relaxed atmosphere. www.hospitalityreviewni.com

BLAKES OF THE HOLLOW

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ON OFFER: Acclaimed Irish writer John McGahern, a regular visitor to Blake’s, said: “I have been going to Blake’s of The Hollow for close to 20 years and think of it as one of the happiest and most beautiful bars in the whole of Ireland. I hope it lasts forever.” The familyrun business has succeeded in bringing a historic property firmly into the 21st century, with an Atrium Bar added over two floors. Level seven caters for younger customers and sports fans. The complex also includes two highlyacclaimed, award-winning restaurants, Café Merlot on the lower ground floor and Restaurant No 6 directly above the Victorian bar. HISTORY: The Victorian bar in the Blake’s of The Hollow complex, nestling in the hollow of Church Street in Enniskillen, dates back to 1887 and has been described as one of the great classic pubs of Ireland. USPs: ‘If Irish pubs were churches, Blake’s of ‘The Hollow’ would be the cathedral of them all,’ said an American travel writer. Blake’s also features one of the 10 Game of Thrones doors in Northern Ireland.

BRIDGE BAR

LOCATION: NEWRY OWNERS: COLUM & SARAH McAVOY ON OFFER: The awardwinning Bridge Bar, Newry is owned by Colum & Sarah McAvoy (also the owners of The Whistledown Hotel) and is one of the oldest traditional pubs in Newry City, offering a genuinely warm welcome and first-rate friendly service. The Beer Garden features live music from Thursday to Sunday making it Newry’s socialising hub at the weekends. The Bridge Bar offers a superb range of traditional beers, premium spirits, fine wines and trending gins and cocktails. STYLE: It is full of character and newly-refurbished traditional charm offering everyone a very warm and friendly welcome. USPs: The Bridge Bar offers catering for special events and celebrations such as barbecues and buffets and is a host for Mourne & Gullion Whiskey Appreciation Society’s monthly tasting sessions. It is a local pub at the heart of the community, a place to meet with friends, laugh, talk over the footie in front of an open fire. There is a dedicated gallery area dedicated to the arts community due to its proximity to the City Hall and Arts Centre. THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 11


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

BROWNS BONDS HILL

LOCATION: DERRY~LONDONDERRY OWNERS: MARCUS ROULSTON & IAN ORR ON OFFER: Browns Bonds Hill lays claim as the best restaurant in the North West. HISTORY: Since establishing Browns Bonds Hill in 2009, Ian Orr and Marcus Roulston have opened Browns in Town, Strand Road, Derry~Londonderry; Browns on the Green,Letterkenny; and Ardtara Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Upperlands. STYLE: Fine dining in casual surroundings with a wealth of experience and awards such as the Restaurant Association of Ireland Best Restaurant in Ulster 2013 and 2016, winner of Tourism NI’s Best Food Tourism Experience 2017, one of the Top Ten Restaurants in the UK for Vegan Fine Dining 2018 and recommended by the Michelin Guide every year since opening. USPs: The team works hard at creating unique experiences, with an extensive calendar of events and menus providing customers with a variety of dining options, all with excellent food, genuine hospitality and unpretentious service. Chef Patron Ian Orr is a well-known ambassador for Northern Ireland, having appeared on Great British Menu and is a regular on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live.

BULLITT

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: BILL WOLSEY, BEANNCHOR; MICHAEL SULLIVAN, GM HISTORY: Bullitt Hotel opened its doors In October 2016. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength with the launch of Babel rooftop bar & garden in October 2017 and 31 new bedrooms added in December 2017, bringing the total number of bedrooms to 74. STYLE: Blurring the lines between work and play, Bullitt is the perfect hangout spot, with a relaxed atmosphere and laid-back sophisticated vibe. Grab a drink with friends, a bite to eat in Taylor & Clay or plug your laptop into one of its USB ports, order a coffee from the Espresso Bar and make Bullitt your office for the day. USPs: Bullitt provides a fresh and unique accommodation concept for Northern Ireland in the heart of Belfast City Centre. Its no-nonsense philosophy involves ditching expensive minibars, bellboys and butlers to deliver a top-quality service with no hidden costs. That means stylish rooms with comfortable kingsize beds, refreshing rain showers, super-fast Wi-Fi, and seriouslysmart TVs. Bullitt also has a monthly calendar of eclectic events that is always expanding and evolving, from international guest DJs to craft workshops and courtyard markets. 12 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

BULL & CLAW

LOCATION: DONAGHADEE OWNERS: KAREN HUTCHISON & FRASER GREENHILL MANAGEMENT: Partners in life and business, Karen Hutchison and Fraser Greenhill met in Roscoff in the 1990s. Karen delivers friendly and professional service, and Fraser runs the kitchen, focusing on quality produce, flavour and freshness. HISTORY: The Bull & Claw rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the former Oceanic Bar, opening in March of 2016. The premises were completely overhauled prior to opening. STYLE: The pub is designed to provide a warm modern space which makes people feel welcome and at ease. MARKET POSITIONING: A quality product across the board at fair prices which attracts a customer base representing a cross section of society. The offering is varied enough to attract casual diners looking for traditional pub grub and a pint to those celebrating a special occasion with fabulous local seafood, champagne and cocktails. Business is primarily food driven though many guests stop by for a drink, especially its fantastic cocktails, gins and local beers. USPs: The pub is always warm and welcoming, and strives to provide the best experience with excellent products, building its business with the support of customers who enjoy quality and value.

BUSHMILLS INN

LOCATION: BUSHMILLS OWNERS: ALAN & ZOE DUNLOP HISTORY: Originally a coaching inn dating back to the early 1600s, the Inn has had an interesting and varied history. Extensive development works were undertaken in 1987 by the previous owners and, in 2007, the hotel was bought over by then Manager Alan Dunlop and his wife Zoe who, in 2009, invested a further £2.4m and opened an additional 19 guest rooms, a conference suite and cinema and extended the restaurant. Further investment at the start of this year has seen the refit of a new kitchen (allowing the introduction of afternoon tea to the food and beverage portfolio), refurbishment of all public areas and upgrades to bedrooms with new bathrooms. STYLE: The hotel has remained true to its heritage in terms of style. Characterised by turf fires, nooks and crannies, wooden beams and white-washed walls, a restaurant taking in the original stables, a gas bar and individually designed guest rooms, the hotel exudes warmth and character. MARKET POSITIONING: Luxury, boutique, unique four-star hotel. Well known throughout Ireland and internationally with the reputation of being the hotel of choice for discerning golf travellers. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

CANAL COURT LOCATION: NEWRY

OWNER: McPARLAND FAMILY

CELLAR BAR

LOCATION: LURGAN OWNER: LESA McCANN ON OFFER: A contemporary Irish bar offering food seven days a week, and a wide variety of drinks from coffee to cocktails. Offering something for everyone, it attracts customers aged from 18 to 80. Recognising the increasing importance of food in the pub trade, the Cellar Bar offers a range of high quality, well-executed dishes from soup and paninis to 14oz rib-eyes and a Sunday roast. A modernstyle lounge area is available for private functions, while a new private dining area seating up to 25 has recently been added to the venue.

ON OFFER: A four-star hotel sitting on the banks of Ireland’s oldest manmade waterway, the Newry Canal with a stated mission to offer a ‘home away from home’. HISTORY: Its 110 bedrooms have been recently renovated and upgraded, while also on offer are a number of suites, family rooms and a penthouse. USPs: Dining and beverage outlets include the Granary Bar, Old Mill Restaurant, Merchants Bar and the Conservatory with views over the Canal which, alongside the award-winning CC Spa and Leisure Club, make the hotel ideal for spa and leisure breaks, conferences and weddings. The hotel’s reputation is built on a high level of traditional Irish service and attention to detail.

CHURCH STREET

LOCATION: MAGHERAFELT OWNERS: ROLAND GRAHAM, HEAD CHEF & ADAM BURGESS, MANAGER HISTORY: Church Street Restaurant was opened in May 2012 by Roly Graham. After honing his skills abroad and at home (Shu, The Merchant, The Inn at Castledawson), he wanted a place to call his own. The focus was on honest, local, seasonal food, cooked well and served simply. Adam joined as restaurant manager shortly after opening with Michelin-starred experience in Birmingham. Quickly, the restaurant expanded to include an upstairs capable of hosting larger groups. And, in July 2016, the restaurant doubled in size with the addition of a new room dubbed the lounge and a cocktail garden. The lounge as waiting area did not last long, as demand meant it has become a dining space too. Accommodation is also now available with a two double-bedroom self-catering apartment just next to the restaurant. In October 2017, Adam and Roly became co-owners of Church Street. STYLE: Gold, browns and black are the base of the colour palette for Church Street to create a luxurious intimate atmosphere. USPs: A constantly changing menu that gives great care for quality over quantity. Hand-crafted cocktails and a hand-picked wine list that give high-class examples at reasonable prices. 14 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

HISTORY: A public house has stood on the site for 200 years, with its latest incarnation as the Cellar Bar dating back 40 years. The McCann family is well established in hospitality, with Lesa’s father Paddy McCann in the trade for 70 years while her brother Trevor owns another Top 100 listing, the Corner House Bar. STYLE: The Cellar Bar’s striking post box-red frontage is carried through internally with a contemporary Irish bar style which includes slate floors, wood features, a colour scheme of warm burgundy and gold and a pool table and jukebox. USPs: Sustainability is at the heart of Cellar Bar, achieved by treating customers like family and going above and beyond to meet their needs and ensure they are well looked after.

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

THE COACHMAN 58-60 RAINEY STREET, MAGHERAFELT TEL: 028 7963 3527 WEBSITE: @thecoachmanmagherafelt

THE COACHMAN

LOCATION: MAGHERAFELT OWNER: MARK STEWART ON OFFER: Entering the main bar, it has a traditional, warm and welcoming feel to it, with an extensive range of fine whiskies, gin, local craft beers and the best pint in town; alternatively, a full barista selection is available for those wanting a refreshing caffeine kick. The newly-refurbished gin bar has been a massive success, with its modern contemporary feel. It’s designed to enable space yet intimacy. Here the customers can relax and enjoy some of the finest gins from around the world, with over 120 gins to sample. The professionally-trained and friendly staff can ensure you get your gin with the perfect serve or they can mix up one of the many carefully chosen gin-tails for your pleasure. Within the first year, the gin bar has catered for gin tasting evenings, cocktail tastings, board meetings, many varied charity events, christenings and magic shows alongside the normal quiz evenings and live music

sessions. In addition to the main bar and gin bar, an award-winning beer garden nestles in-between, which was built to accommodate smokers after the smoking ban became law. On a fine summer’s evening, the beer garden becomes an extension of both bars and customers can enjoy drinks by the water fountain while taking in the rays and listening to live music. HISTORY: The Coachman in Magherafelt can trace its history back to 1831, with the current owner Mark Stewart purchasing it in 1989. USPs: The entire venue is a popular meeting place for socialising and that occasional catch up for friends and family with a warming atmosphere and made-athome feel. It’s also very popular for local hockey, football, basketball, netball teams and cycling clubs who meet on a regular basis whether it is for fun or to discuss their latest activities.

COPPI

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNERS: TONY & ANDREA O’NEILL; CAIT MCGEOUGH, MANAGER; STEPHEN FERRIS, HEAD CHEF; JONNY PHILIPS, EXECUTIVE CHEF HISTORY: Coppi recently celebrated its sixth birthday, having opened in December 2012. Husband & wife team Tony & Andrea also own Buba restaurant, an Eastern Med inspired restaurant, also located in St Anne’s Square. STYLE: The ambience of Coppi is busy and buzzy, cool and contemporary. The large open space is characterised with dark reclaimed timber panelling, leather upholstered booths and banquettes, low level pendant lighting and mixed with antique and industrial pieces. The kitchen pass is open and well-lit enabling diners to watch the chefs at work. MARKET POSITIONING & USPs: Coppi is Belfast’s first cichetti bacari/restaurant inspired by those found in Venice and was named after cycling legend Angelo Fausto Coppi. It offers a great selection of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine served in the coolest of surroundings. All of the pasta is freshly made on the premises. Vegetarians and vegans are also well catered for with a full and seasonally changing vegan menu on offer. This January saw the launch of a new menu with the highlight being the introduction of a Cichetti Dolce section, yes dessert tapas, what a way to finish off any meal. 16 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

CORNER HOUSE LOCATION: LURGAN

OWNERS: TREVOR & ROISIN MCCANN ON OFFER: Hub of the community with welcoming arms for all. HISTORY: Coming into its seventh year after being purchased by Trevor, the corner house is a key staple in the community. It has developed into a hub for all customers and really has placed itself firmly on the map of Northern Ireland’s local pubs. Trevor is still investing in the bar itself and 2019 will see the exciting launch of a multipurpose outside area. STYLE: With its plush style, the Corner House really does boast a cosy, relaxed and uniquely styled atmosphere enjoyed by customers young and old. It has been cleverly designed to appeal to all generations and with so many nooks and crannies to catch your eye, customers can spend time during each visit enjoying this wellstyled pub. USPs: ‘The heart of the village’ as it’s commonly known - the bar itself is an attraction that brings in customers from all over Ireland and further afield. The clear emphasis that has been injected into providing fantastic pub grub, seven days a week from 12-9pm has provided its customer base with a pub serving locally-sourced food where possible, at a responsible price point. The Tony Lavery Fleadh has put the Corner House on the music map and has allowed for some excellent artists to visit and to show off their talents to eagerly listening fans. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

CORR’S CORNER

LOCATION: NEWTOWNABBEY OWNER: EUGENE McKEEVER, MD OF MCKEEVER HOTEL GROUP HISTORY: Eugene McKeever purchased Corr’s Corner Hotel 25 years ago in 1993, after working in the kitchen since he was 12 years old and then becoming head chef. 2019 is a monumental year for the hotel as it marks 100 years since its doors opened in 1919. It has since then transitioned from a bar to a 68-bedroom and event venue, with a new fitness suite. STYLE: Traditional yet cosy using the best local suppliers, creating an ambience of comfort and relaxation. MARKET POSITIONING: 3-star hotel, driven by food & beverage. USPs: Well known for its Lady R Bar & Grill, which served 165,000 meals last year and has only seen three head chefs since the 1970s. Eugene sees people coming to the hotel with their grandchildren, who he remembers coming in themselves as young people, showing the huge role Corr’s Corner Hotel plays in the community and the upcoming generations.

CROWNE PLAZA LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: RAJESH RANA, DIRECTOR OF ANDRAS HOTELS ON OFFER: The award-winning Crowne Plaza Belfast is situated just 15 minutes-drive from Belfast City Centre, set amidst the beautiful Lagan Valley Regional Park, with captivating views and a relaxing ambience all year round. Over the past 24 months, the hotel has had refurbishments of two reception suites, the hotel lobby and all bedrooms. There have been an additional 36 new rooms added to the luxurious four-star hotel, making it bigger and better than ever before. The stylish and modern refurb has raised the hotel to a new level, firmly positioning it as a top Belfast venue for accommodation, dining, weddings, events and conferences. USPs: Aside from luxurious bedrooms and extensive dining options, the hotel also boasts 21 modern event spaces, from sleek boardrooms to the Grand Ballroom accommodating up to 900 people, catering for conferences, gala dinners and celebrations of varying sizes. All guests can also avail of the free on-site car parking, complimentary wi-fi and the indoor pool. 18 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

CROSSKEYS INN LOCATION: TOOME OWNER: VINCENT HURL ON OFFER: The Crosskeys Inn, situated on what was once the main Belfast to Derry road, is the oldest thatched pub in Ireland dating back to c.1654. The Crosskeys is firmly on the tourism trail and attracts visitors from worldwide. HISTORY: This white-washed, thatched stone-built cottage served as a coaching stop as well as a public house and grocers. USPs: A renowned traditional music venue, it attracts musicians from all over Ireland and all other parts of the globe. Irish music sessions are held most Saturday nights with impromptu sessions on some Fridays and Sundays. The Crosskeys is owned and manged by Vincent Hurl since 2001 and, in 2017, The Crosskeys Inn won the BBC Countryfile Country Pub of The Year award; the first pub in Northern Ireland ever to be nominated for this award. The Crosskeys Inn is passed for development to include dining and accommodation facilities.

CYPRUS AVENUE LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: RICHARD McCRACKEN, CHEF/OWNER ON OFFER: A licensed neighbourhood eatery, offering casual dining in a relaxed environment, open from 9am offering breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Within a year, the restaurant was included in the Michelin and McKenna guides. HISTORY: The restaurant, which was previously a derelict building, was opened in December 2016 by Richard, his first restaurant after returning from years away working in the Michelin-starred kitchens of Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Tom Kitchin and finally the eponymous restaurant of Helene Darroze in Paris. STYLE: In November 2018 the restaurant was extended to allow for longer time slots for weekend diners by knocking through into the corner site at the North Road crossroads. The renovations provided a more spacious dining room and, during the works, an 80-year-old terrazzo floor was discovered and reconditioned to add to the ‘urban chic’ feel of the restaurant. USPs: Portraits of the local suppliers hang on the walls of the restaurant to ‘put a face to the names’ that are scattered on the menu. The menu is made up of locally-sourced produce, using the finest suppliers. Cyprus Avenue has 60,000 bees located on its roof providing urban honey for use on its daily-changing seasonal menu. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

DEANES AT QUEENS LOCATION: BELFAST

DEANES EIPIC

LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: DEANES

OWNER: DEANES

ON OFFER: In the vibrant university quarter of the city, Deanes at Queens restaurant, bar and grill, with its glorious terrace, takes full advantage of its enviable leafy location overlooking the superb architecture of Methodist College. It’s also adjacent to Belfast’s Botanic Gardens and the Ulster Museum. Restaurant Head Chef Chris Fearon, of Great British Menu fame, consistently serves up dishes packed with the flavour of great local produce. The Mibrasa Charcoal Grill adds a delicious dimension to the wide-ranging restaurant menu.

ON OFFER: Innovative cooking and fine wine in an elegant and stylish setting. Subtle flavours are created using predominantly local, seasonal produce of the finest quality; delicately prepared and perfectly presented. £45 and £70 tasting menus and an excellent value £30 Friday lunch menu.

USPs: Deanes at Queens holds a Michelin Bib Gourmand which, according to the world-renowned restaurant guide, indicates ’good food at moderate prices’. It also has 2 AA rosettes. The restaurant is open seven days a week. The main dining room caters for private parties for up to 140 people. The private rooms adjacent to the main restaurant provide the perfect venue for smaller family parties, intimate weddings, business meetings, or conferences.

USPs: Deanes Eipic holds a Michelin star. Head Chef Alex Greene from Dundrum in the Mourne country began his career in the also Michelin-starred Deanes in 2007, and from there went on to work at Petrus by Gordon Ramsay, Claridge’s by Gordon Ramsay and The Cliffhouse in Ardmore, all of which hold Michelin stars. Chef Alex delivers the freshest and most seasonal produce cooked to perfection. Sommelier Didier Nyecerant from The Loire Valley, meanwhile, helps with the perfect pairing of wine and food.

THE DIRTY ONION LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: BILL WOLSEY, BEANNCHOR HISTORY: Dating back to 1780, the building was used as a bonded spirit warehouse from 1921. It was known locally as ‘STACK N’ – a reference to its position on the north side of Waring Street and the building still bears a giant red painted ‘N’ on its brick façade. STYLE: The distinctive external wooden structure is an original feature which, following careful restoration, frames the venue’s highly popular beer garden to the front of the complex, with a new contemporary courtyard stretching out to Hill Street. The venue was recently awarded a Heritage award by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society for the transformation of the venue. Inside, low ceilings supported by exposed wooden beams and original brick walls throughout nod to the past. USPs: The Dirty Onion hosts an extensive seven-day music programme throughout the week offering open workshops in singing and various traditional instruments, sessions with the highest quality traditional musicians and performances from local bands. The building is also home to the popular Yardbird, a free-range chicken rotisserie restaurant, set on the second floor, offering a lunch and dinner menu seven days a week. 20 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

DORMANS

LOCATION: MAGHERAFELT OWNERS: HENRY & TERESA MCGLONE; CATHERINE DONNELLY, CONOR MCGLONE, RYAN MCGLONE, MANAGEMENT ON OFFER: Dormans Bar is established as one of the finest traditional pubs in Ireland; the venue oozes a wealth of character and charm. HISTORY: A legacy pub since 1905, Dormans has evolved to offer a traditional bar feel with modern quirks. Originally opened by the late Joe Dorman in 1905, the bar is located on Queen Street, Magherafelt and is a popular choice for food, drinks and live entertainment daily with customers from around the world. Current proprietors Henry and Teresa McGlone (nee Dorman) aim to provide the best in hospitality to customers each day with their dedicated and friendly team, and are passionate and well known in the hospitality industry having won many accolades in the past. USPs: Dormans Bar serves food daily using local produce and drinks including decadent cocktails and a world gin and whiskey list. Live music in the bar every week from Friday to Sunday including a monthly trad session. All major live sport can be viewed on the big screen and many TVs around the bar. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

DUKE OF YORK LOCATION: BELFAST

EDO

LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNERS: WILLIE JACK/PAUL O’HARE

OWNER: JONNY ELLIOTT

ON OFFER: Nestled along a narrow, cobbled alleyway in the historic Half Bap area, The Duke offers a traditional Belfast welcome of craic, music and humour. Without TVs, fruit machines or gimmicks, the free house is a Belfast institution, renowned for its Irish whiskey range.

ON OFFER: EDOŌ opened its doors in September 2017, the brainchild of Jonny Elliott, owner chef. Cheffing for 20 years, Jonny has cooked all over Europe, gaining experience and knowledge of the food and dishes he enjoys cooking and eating himself. Wanting to open a restaurant in his native city, Jonny brought the themes and tastes of the Mediterranean to Belfast through EDOŌ.

HISTORY: Owned by Willie Jack since the early 1980s, the Duke has been a pub for 200 years, and had to be rebuilt after it was blown up by a terrorist bomb in 1972. STYLE: Bric-a-brac from Ulster’s pub trade, collected over the last 30-plus years by Willie Jack, adorn the walls and ceilings of The Duke, creating a unique historical narrative and arresting décor. USPs: Famous live music venue (Snow Patrol first gigged here; outstanding!). Murals, street signage, Belfast memorabilia and hundreds of old Belfast photos adorn the streets of Half Bap to make it one of the ‘must see’ places in the city.

ENTRADA/1876 BRASSERIE & CHAMPAGNE LOUNGE LOCATION: DERRY

OWNER: SUKHPAL KULAR; BARRY O’BRIEN, MANAGER ON OFFER: The menu reflects seasonality and local produce, with a Spanish Mibrasa Charcoal oven giving a unique texture and flavour to meat and fish. Private dining rooms are also available, catering for small family occasions, corporate events and wedding parties up to 120 people. HISTORY: A Grade 2 listed building, built in 1876, The Custom House was a bonded warehouse for export goods including liquor and tobacco, and was recently purchased by a local family who carried out extensive renovation works to create a modern dining venue.

STYLE: Halfway up Upper Queen Street, EDOŌ welcomes you with a floor to ceiling glass front. The décor, colbalt blue seating and wooden floors mixed with a rich gold colour scheme and soft lighting, lends itself well to the cosy yet smart ambience. The open pass lets diners see the chefs prepare their food and brings the atmosphere of a busy working kitchen into the restaurant. USPs: BERTHA is the focal point of the kitchen with most dishes passing through the charcoal oven before making their way to tables. EDOŌ is unique in that it is the only restaurant in Belfast with a BERTHA oven, giving its food a distinctive and authentically Mediterranean taste – something different to every other restaurant in the city.

THE ERRIGLE INN LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: PHILIP McGURRAN ON OFFER: The Errigle Inn is one of Ireland’s most famous traditional pubs with a great reputation for food, music and atmosphere. The first bar in Belfast to receive an entertainment licence, it continues to host private functions and corporate events across five bars, an off licence, roof gardens and a beer garden, with food served throughout the building. HISTORY: The Errigle Inn opened in 1935, with its original date stone uncovered during refurbishments in 1998. Charlie McQuade, who also owned The Ava bar in Bangor and the Strand bar in Belfast, named it after his wife’s hometown in Co Monaghan.

STYLE: Entrada is a Spanish-led casual dining restaurant. The interior is finished to a very high standard, combining old with the new.

STYLE: History, character and charm abounds in the collections of old beer taps, corkscrews and other bar memorabilia, table-tops produced from old South African railway sleepers, original art deco glasswork on doors and original Lloyd Loom furniture.

USPs: This land mark city centre building enjoys views overlooking the river Foyle and historic Peace Bridge. The three floors allow provision of multiple dining options to cater for all occasions. Last year, a new restaurant Seomra was added to Custom House, located on the first floor and bringing a new dining concept to the North West.

USPs: The Errigle lays claim to the best sports coverage Belfast can offer, as a dedicated rugby venue and official sponsor of Ulster Rugby Women’s XV. GAA, horse racing and soccer are also covered. Offering over 20 beers on tap from big names to craft beers, it hosts guest and rotating draughts from local breweries, dispensed through an energy efficient Lancer cooling system.

22 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

EUROPA HOTEL

FRONT PAGE

LOCATION: BELFAST

LOCATION: BALLYMENA

OWNER: HASTINGS HOTELS

OWNERS: STEPHEN & MARIE REYNOLDS HISTORY: The worldfamous Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre. It was purchased by Hastings Hotels in 1993 and has an international reputation for hosting prestigious events and looking after many of the celebrities and VIPs who visit Belfast including President Clinton.

STYLE: The hotel is tastefully decorated and furnished to the highest standards with 272 luxurious guest bedrooms and suites for guests to choose from. USPs: The elegant décor, contemporary restaurant, bustling bar and relaxing piano bar lounge make the four-star Europa Hotel a perfect base for business and leisure guests visiting Belfast. The hotel offers the most versatile choice of event space of its kind in Northern Ireland and can cater for everything from small meetings to large conferences and gala dinners for up to 1,200 guests and boasts a total of 17 flexible meeting and event spaces.

24 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

ON OFFER: The Front Page Bar in Ballymena is an established town centre, cross-community, award-winning pub which has contributed to the hospitality and tourism offer of the local economy since 1990. Twenty-nine years on, proprietors Stephen & Marie Reynolds, with the help of Team Front Page, offer a ‘traditional but modern’ clean, safe and welcoming pub and entertainment venue popular with 18–80-year-olds. USPs: Like many pubs across Northern Ireland, The Front Page Bar has raised tens of thousands of pounds for various charities during its 29 years in business. It has won Hospitality Ulster’s Community Pub of the Year Award in 2012, 2015 and 2016. Judges summed up saying: ‘The Front Page is a true hub of the community…. someone who has brought people together to achieve great things… supporting a wide number of very worthy causes and initiatives. Charity is most definitely close to home for this community focused pub. The owners have gone to great lengths to engage with the local business community for the common good, driving trade into the local economy as well as supporting training and development of their own staff and inspiring young people to explore a career in hospitality. The Front Page Bar is a great ambassador for the hospitality industry.’

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

FRIELS BAR & RESTAURANT LOCATION: SWATRAGH

FRIELS BAR & RESTAURANT 2-4 KILREA ROAD, MAGHERA TEL: 028 7940 1206 WEBSITE: www.friels.ie/

OWNERS: DERMOT & CAITRIONA FRIEL ON OFFER: Friels Bar & Restaurant offers a family-friendly atmosphere with WorldHost trained, dedicated friendly staff. In addition to the bar and restaurant, it offers a BBQ beer garden and kids’ play area and, at weekends, live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Food is served daily 12-9pm, and is Taste of Ulster accredited. HISTORY: In the Friel family for over 100 years, the pub is currently run by the fourth generation. It was used as a soup kitchen during the Great Famine in the 1840s, and the original famine pot is still in place.

STYLE: A traditional bar and restaurant with original fixtures and fittings, it features pictures and memorabilia of bygone times and a cosy atmosphere. USPs: Supporting local farmers is a focus, with all the food locally sourced. This property is a hive for tourists as it is on the A29 and only 30 minutes from the Giant’s Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery and The Dark Hedges.Seamus Heaney Homeplace is a short 15-minute drive. It was named Rural Pub of the Year 2016 by Hospitality Ulster, Tourist Pub of the Year in 2010 and Neighbourhood Pub of the Year in 2011.

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THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 25


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

FULLERTON ARMS 22-24 MAIN STREET, BALLINTOY, CON ANTRIM TEL: 028 2076 9613 WEBSITE: www.fullerton-arms.com

FULLERTON ARMS LOCATION: BALLINTOY OWNERS: SEAN & GERALDINE MCLAUGHLIN ON OFFER: Entering its fourth year under its current owners Sean and Geraldine McLaughlin, the Fullerton Arms continues to gain attention and recognition for the unique experience it is providing visitors to the North Antrim Coast. Since taking over, the couple and their team are rejuvenating this unassuming country pub into a business that is equipped to manage the large number of visitors it receives as well as leave them with a lasting impression of true Northern Irish hospitality. HISTORY: Located in the peaceful village of Ballintoy, the Fullerton has stood along the Main Street since the 1800s. STYLE: It now serves as a guesthouse, restaurant and licensed bar where staff endeavour to accommodate every guest who visits from couples to day tour operators. In undertaking the business, Sean and Geraldine have invested in updating the kitchen, public areas and accommodation while also maintaining the character. The renovations to the current deluxe bedrooms completed in March 2018 continue to amaze and satisfy customers. The lush furnishing, cosy bedding and chic décor create the perfect ambience for guests to relax in after a busy day along the coast, with a style that is as fresh and inviting as the scenery itself. USPs: The Fullerton Arms is fortunate to be situated at the heart of the stunning North Coast, with popular sites such as the Carrick-aRede Rope Bridge being in walking distance and the Giant’s Causeway less than a 15-minute drive away. The evergrowing popularity of Game of Thrones and Northern Ireland’s use as prime filming location has brought fans from all over the world here on their travels. They especially enjoy the homage paid to the hit series in the Fullerton, where you’ll find a replica throne, a themed room and the sixth door of thrones. Every venture is taken here with the goal of offering the best experience to customers, with showcasing the best of Northern Ireland tourism at its core. The Fullerton has been collaborating with other businesses in the area, such as food tours and private tour guides, to provide guests with the opportunity to make the most out

of their visit to the area. The kitchen has been taken over by new Head Chef Carl Harvey, who is keen to keep food standards high and guests spoilt for choice with daily specials alongside their usual menus. The use of local ingredients will remain central as the kitchen team develops their offerings based on what the season brings. Here you will also find Ireland’s premier Moulerie serving delicious mussels from Strangford Lough cooked in the classic marinière sauce or five original alternatives, although even they will experience a shake up later in the year as new partnerships are developed with local producers. Staff development is key and with the golf Open event taking place this summer, front-of-house team members will be undergoing World Host Training to ensure

26 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

that the needs of customers continue to be met. The team also continues to grow, offering more employment to members of the community who all desire to provide customers with a high standard of genuine service. The Fullerton Arms is also now well-known for its dog friendly policy in both the bar and some overnight accommodation, having won dog-friendly bar of the year two years in a row. 2019 will see the dog-friendly bedrooms being updated and a few more special treats for day visitors. With everything that the Fullerton Arms has achieved so far, from awards to record numbers of guests, it’s fair to say that it will continue to be a prominent destination for visitors. The coming years will see further renovations, more staff development, more initiatives in working with local businesses and everything else they can handle. There truly is an appeal here for every type of visitor, and one thing they are all guaranteed is a memorable experience worth reliving.

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

GALGORM RESORT & SPA LOCATION: BALLYMENA OWNER: NICHOLAS & PAUL HILL; PAUL SMYTH, MD; COLIN JOHNSTON, GM ON OFFER: Wind down and allow stress to melt away, with a stay at the award-winning Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort. With tranquil surroundings, genuine hospitality and a serene spa experience, it is no surprise that Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort in Ballymena, Co Antrim was awarded Global Luxury Spa Hotel of the Year in 2018 at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards. HISTORY: In the past 10 years, the Resort has invested over £35m, with plans for further expansion of over £14m over the next three to five years. The major extension will include an additional 64 bedrooms, an exclusive rooftop spa, additional spa garden and executive lounge. It has just introduced The Skin Clinic alongside a fully-equipped Fitness Suite and blow-dry bar to really elevate its Spa experience. USPs: The Resort is already home to a selection of guest rooms and lodges, and the jewel in the crown, the unique Thermal Spa Village, which is the first of its kind in Ireland. A commitment to unveiling unique experiences such as the Serenity Garden & Celtic Sauna Infusion cements its reputation as one of the UK and Ireland’s leading spa destinations, being named one of the six best spas in Ireland in the 2019 Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards. A smorgasbord of heated and cool spa experiences awaits including saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, snail shower, heated loungers and famed snow cabin. Perched on the banks of the River Maine, with an unmistakeably scenic woodland backdrop, an hour in one of Galgorm’s eco-friendly wood-fire tubs is simply blissful. When you have worked up a hunger, Elements Spa Cafe houses refreshing drinks, indulgent snacks and nourishing nibbles for those feeling particularly virtuous. Galgorm offers an unparalleled golf experience, ideally located to play Royal Portrush as well as its championship parkland golf course Galgorm Castle, home to the European Tours NI Open. After a day in the Spa, guests can expect a meal that is just as indulgent as the spa treatments, with Head Chef Chris Rees at the helm. The Resort’s 3 AA Rosette River Room Restaurant was named the Best Luxury Hotel Restaurant at the World www.hospitalityreviewni.com

Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards 2018. The River Room restaurant uses seasonal ingredients sourced from the Resort’s own kitchen garden, as well as local artisan suppliers. Guests can also enjoy an array of cuisine from authentic BBQ smokehouse cuisine at Castle Kitchen + Bar, traditional Italian in Fratelli or the homely ambience of Gillies which offers entertainment seven nights a week. For the sweet tooth, why not enjoy a decadent afternoon tea in The Conservatory which houses Ireland’s largest gin collection.

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FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS: The group has also invested in Belfast’s growing hospitality sector over the last number of years, bringing its Fratelli brand to Great Victoria Street. More recently it has opened a French-style restaurant at one of the city’s most iconic sites, Café Parisien at Cleaver House, overlooking Belfast City Hall. Both restaurants have a private dining provision and terraced area with generous panoramic views. With exceptional service and an array of experiences to suit every taste, Galgorm and its sister properties are destinations like no other.

GALGORM RESORT & SPA 136 FENAGHY ROAD, GALGORM, BALLYMENA TEL: 028 25881001 WEBSITE: www.galgorm.com THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 27


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

THE GARRICK BAR LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: BILL WOLSEY, BEANNCHOR; COLM OATES, MANAGER

GINGER BISTRO LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: SIMON & ABBY McCANCE

ON OFFER: Today the Garrick bar is one of Belfast’s best watering holes, with a selection of 100 local and international beers and an extensive range of vodkas, gins and whiskeys on offer. Delicious food is served daily using ingredients sourced and supplied by local suppliers. Spicy chicken wings washed down with a great pint of Guinness is a firm favourite with the regulars. HISTORY: Formerly a marble and stone yard, the site of The Garrick became a tavern and, in 1870, McCauley, McCashin and Co, rectifying distillers and wine and spirit merchants, were dispensing drinks at the location. The Garrick name was in use by 1892 at the latest, when WJ McCoy ran the Garrick Bar and Billiard Room. Before the turn of the century, the bar became the second licensed premises to be acquired by the burgeoning partnership of Braithwaite and McCann. USPs: Big on football and rugby, you’ll find the back bar full most weekends with the crowds gathered round the big screen. If sport is not your thing, you can relax in the front bar and enjoy the traditional Irish music sessions three times a week or enjoy DJ nights Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the back bar.

GOAT’S TOE

LOCATION: BANGOR OWNER: JONATHAN GEDGE, OWNER; NATASHA PAXTON, MANAGER ON OFFER: From jam jars, craft beers and amazing food to live music, street art and theme nights, The Goat’s Toe has your night out signed, sealed and delivered. HISTORY: The Goat’s Toe was established in 2011, and quickly became Bangor’s foremost music venue. After a fire in 2017, The Goat reestablished itself with a new image, new vibe and new style. It fell under new ownership and management in 2017. STYLE: Aesthetically The Goat’s Toe is unparalleled in Bangor; it takes on the lavish prohibition style with a modern, quirky twist. USPs: Pride itself in setting trends; not following the herd. The Goat’s Toe offers customers a diverse range of live music, with its stage playing host to acts such as Coolio and General Fiascio. Serves up its own twist on classic pub food, alongside a wide range of cocktails crafted by its in-house mixologist and an extensive collection of spirts and beers. Chic yet quirky, unique yet classical, enjoy a few cold ones by the fire or venture up to its famous roof garden and enjoy a cocktail in the caravan on the roof. 28 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

ON OFFER: Located in the heart of Belfast City Centre, the bistro is recognised as one of Belfast’s finest, award-winning restaurants. HISTORY: The Ginger Bistro was established in 2000 on the Ormeau Road, with the aim of serving quality food in a relaxed and friendly environment. It has since moved to Hope Street and then expanded into a Great Victoria Street site around the corner. Near the Opera House, Europa Hotel and Crown Bar, it has built a loyal local customer base while also attracting tourists. USPs: With the help of a long-established team, Ginger Bistro has received many local and national awards over the years. With a hand picked supply chain, Ginger Bistro’s ingredients are all of top quality and locally produced when possible.

GRAND CENTRAL LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: HASTINGS HOTELS HISTORY: The Grand Central Hotel opened its doors in June 2018 and is the largest and most expensively constructed hotel project ever seen in Northern Ireland representing an investment by Hastings Hotels, Northern Ireland’s leading collection of hotels, of £53m. STYLE: This spectacular hotel has its own exclusive cosmopolitan vibe. The stunning ground floor and reception area is a dramatic doubleheight space, and throughout the hotel elegant and dazzling décor sets the tone with marble flooring, plush fabrics and state-of-theart lighting – quality and style exude from every angle. USPs: The Grand Central Hotel boasts 300 luxurious bedrooms and suites with a range of fabulous dining options including the Grand Café which is perfect for casual meetings to catch-ups over coffee and long, lazy lunches. The Seahorse Bar & Restaurant offers sumptuous Afternoon Tea and an exquisite evening menu. The Observatory on the hotel’s 23rd floor is the tallest and most luxurious cocktail lounge in Ireland. Guests can sit back, relax and sip on the finest cocktail and drinks selection and enjoy the breath-taking views of Belfast and beyond. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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TOP 100 Hospitality Businesses in Northern Ireland Cushendun - Mary McBride’s Ballintoy - Fullerton Arms Bushmills - Bushmills Inn

Portadown Head O’The Road McConvilles

Portrush Kiwi’s Brew Bar Ocho Tapas Ramore Wine Bar

Armagh Keegans Bar O’Neill’s (Red Ned’s)

Portstewart - Anchor Complex Limavady - Granny Annie’s Benone - Angler’s Rest

Derry

Enniskillen Blakes of the Hollow Killyhevlin Lough Erne Resort & Spa Taphouse Gastro Pub

Drapers

Carnlough- Londonderry Arms Derry Bishop’s Gate Hotel Blackbird Browns Entrada/1876 Brasserie & Champagne Lounge Guildhall Taphouse Peadar O’Donnell’s Bar Primrose Sandinos Swatragh - Friels Bar and Restaurant Toome - Crosskeys Inn Draperstown - Shepherd’s Rest Magherafelt Church Street The Coachman Dorman’s Omagh - Sally’s of Omagh Donaghmore - Brewer’s House Dungannon Hagan’s Bar McAleers Bar Moy - Auction Rooms Lurgan Cellar Bar Corner House Bar

30 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

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Ballymena Front Page Galgorm Resort & Spa

Newtownabbey - Corr’s Corner Portaferry - Portaferry Hotel

Cairncastle - Mattie’s Meeting House Larne - Ruby’s Bar Raloo - Billy Andys Carrickfergus - Ownies Bangor Goat’s Toe Hop House

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Donaghadee - Bull & Claw Holywood - Noble

Carnlough

Draperstown

Newtownabbey

Donaghadee

Killinchy Moy

Belfast Bullitt Coppi Crowne Plaza Cyprus Avenue Deanes at Queens Deanes Eipic EDO The Dirty Onion Duke of York Errigle Inn Europa Hotel The Garrick Ginger Bistro Grand Central Hadksis Harp Bar Henry’s/Jailhouse House Howard Street Jumon Kellys Cellars La Taqueria Laverys Limelight The Merchant Hotel Morning Star Muddlers Club Northern Lights Northern Whig Nu Delhi Ox Shu Spaniard Sunflower Union Street Voodoo Yugo Moira The StillHouse Wine & Brine

Portaferry Kircubbin - Saltwater Brig Hillsborough - Hillside Bar & Restaurant Ballynahinch - Millbrook Lodge Hotel Killinchy - Balloo House Strangford - Lobster Pot

Warrenpoint Rostrevor

Newry Bank Bar Bridge Bar Canal Court Rostrevor - Rostrevor Inn Warrenpoint - Number 7 Duke Street

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THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 31


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

GRANNY ANNIE’S LOCATION: LIMAVADY

OWNERS: BROTHERS WILLIS & RYAN McLAUGHLIN (W & R HOLDINGS) HISTORY: Granny Annies is a leading operator in the hospitality industry within Northern Ireland, operating Granny Annies Kitchen & Bar in Limavady, Granny Annies Bar and live/club venue in Derry and Granny Annies Kitchen in Belfast. The Belfast location opened in 2016 and, later that year, Granny Annies bought five pubs from JD Wetherspoon in Coleraine, Ballymena, Enniskillen and Derry. A sister venue The Tipsy Bird was opened on Ann Street in Belfast in 2017. STYLE: Kitsch old-style memorabilia and country furnishings, reflecting the Granny Annie theme. USPs: Straight up pub grub, with a focus on traditional Irish dishes, Deep South classics and a few global influences thrown in for good measure.

HADSKI’S

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: NIALL McKENNA, CHEF PROPRIETOR; MICHAEL COLE, RESTAURANT MANAGER ON OFFER: An award-winning restaurant since 2014 in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, serving #greatfoodeveryday from 12pm Monday to Friday and brunch from 11am, Saturday and Sunday. HISTORY: Hadskis has been born out of one man’s love for making pots and pans, and another man’s love for cooking great food.

GUILDHALL TAPHOUSE

LOCATION: DERRY-LONDONDERRY OWNER: RACHEL EASTWOOD ON OFFER: A bar located in the heart of Derry with the river Foyle on one side and the historic walls on the other, making summer nights a beauty to sit out in and enjoy a crisp cool drink. HISTORY: The history of The Guildhall Taphouse began with its major renovation from the Monico to the quirky little wholesome bar it is today. The bar received a much-needed revamp under the new ownership of Rachel Eastwood and her team. The old style booths were completely removed and the new position of the bar and kitchen were set, along with a staging area for musicians and the gems of talent that can be found within the city. USPs: The Taphouse provides beers from Derry to Rathmullan and from Donegal to Germany that are presented on draft in all customers’ view, with a selection of drinks on the chalkboard around the overhang of the bar ceiling. The slick selection of cocktails beautifully presented and full of flavour are created by the stand up team of employees who help make the bar the amazing little gem that it is. The chefs use only the finest locally-sourced ingredients to use in their top quality dishes accompanied by amazing service from kitchen to table.

HAGAN’S BAR & BAR BELLA LOCATION: DUNGANNON OWNERS: PAUL & BRIEGE HAGAN HISTORY: Established in 1969, Hagan’s will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. From humble beginnings, it has positioned itself as one of MidUlster’s leading venues. In 2008, a major renovation of the original premises proved to be an instant success, and this continued in 2011 with the addition of Bar Bella, almost doubling the entertainment space. In keeping with ever-changing trends, this included The Velvet Lounge, outdoor Secret Garden and Bar 43 VIP Lounge. STYLE: A unique, modern, luxurious venue combining a welcoming traditional pub and sophisticated entertainment hub, always delivering the perfect ambience.

STYLE: The menu changes regularly and features Northern Irish steak and lamb, fresh homemade pasta and delicious desserts from cheese to the tart of the day. A great wine list features European and New World wines by the glass as well as wine by the magnum. Classic cocktails add to the mix with classics as well as tasty dessert cocktails. 32 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

USPs: A long-established versatile venue that can accommodate any event, from a great night out with friends to a larger private function, its staff go the extra mile to ensure everyone that walks through the door is a VIP at Hagan’s. Showing live sports coverage seven days a week on 30-plus large screens, viewable from every area of the bar. It also offers freshly cooked food available to order until late afternoon. As day turns to night, Hagan’s transitions into Mid-Ulster’s hottest entertainment venue with no cover charge, DJs and local live music acts. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

HARP BAR

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNERS: WILLIE JACK & RONAN MCLAUGHLIN ON OFFER: The Harp Bar is a proper public house for the discerning drinker. Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus - what shall we give in return for so much? HISTORY: Aiming to recreate the famous atmosphere of the original 1970s Harp Bar, which closed in 1982, it was reopened in 2013 by Willie Jack. In 2018, he developed an adjacent building, to extend the Harp Bar with a smoking area and create a new art gallery named after the demolished Orpheus Ballroom on York Street, featuring all the original flooring, art deco windows and other artefacts rescued from the Ballroom. STYLE: The Harp Bar, incorporating the Dunville & Swinging Diddy Lounges, is decorated in plush red velvet fabrics and adorned with antique furnishings resonant with Victorian Belfast. Walls and cabinets feature rare memorabilia inspired by the building’s origins as a bonded warehouse and headquarters of The Old Bushmills Distillery Company. USPs: An iconic live music venue hosting over 21 bands per week, local talent performing there has included Van Morrison. Across the road from the Harp Bar is The Friend at Hand, a unique whiskey off-licence featuring a museum charting the worldrenowned distilling history of Belfast.

HENRY’S / JAILHOUSE LOCATION: BELFAST

HEAD O’THE ROAD LOCATION: PORTADOWN OWNER: JOHN LAWSON ON OFFER: The Head o’The Road is a family-owned rural business based just outside Portadown, which has undergone a recent refurbishment expanding its seating to 140. A private function room has been added on the first floor, as well as a cocktail bar, complementing its traditional, original front bar. The offering is for the relaxed dining customer, from a quick Head o The Road burger to a full three-course Sunday lunch with all the trimmings. HISTORY: Born in the late 1700s, it came under its current ownership in 1932. STYLE: A mix of old and new, blending the old Irish style pub at the front with its contemporary dining areas and other bars. USPs: Consistently offering wholesome dishes in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The ability to offer its customers many services; be it a baby shower, hen ‘do’, wedding or christening. It is a focal point for the local community and gives back any time it can.

THE HILLSIDE

LOCATION: HILLSBOROUGH

OWNER: THE GRAVITY GROUP

OWNER: BILL WOLSEY, BEANNCHOR

HISTORY: The former McCrackens bar, taken over by The Gravity Group in the spring of 2018, undergoing an extensive renovation emphasising Joys Entry’s original character and keeping the history intact. Opening in July 2018, Henry’s, and The Jailhouse are now top locations, creating a new dimension in the heart of the city linking the past history to the vibrant 21st century of Belfast.

HISTORY: The pub has been called The Hillside throughout its history, having been established in 1752, making it Hillsborough’s oldest pub. The Hillside Bar, despite being open for almost 300 years, has been left relatively unscathed from our turbulent past unlike a lot of the pubs in Lisburn.

STYLE: Henry’s is a licensed premise for over 100 years and steeped in Belfast history, with high ceiling and old-style booths to enjoy the pub grub and local drinks offerings, alongside the wide range of traditional live music and Irish dancing. The adjoining bar, The Jailhouse, is brightly lit with windows along the entry wall, exposed brick walls and original inscribed beams telling tales of the past. Offering cocktails and nibbles with live music and DJs throughout the week, catering to the modern life of Belfast City Centre.

STYLE: The Hillside is a charming, rustic pub situated in the historic Georgian village of Hillsborough, only 15 minutes’ drive from Belfast City Centre.

USPs: Henry’s and The Jailhouse offer a fantastic range of pub grub food, vast choice of drinks and traditional entertainment seven days a week, engulfing each and every customer in the rich history of their namesake Henry Joy McCracken and the heritage of Joys Entry in which they are located. 34 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

USP: At The Hillside, gastronomes can enjoy a mouth-watering seasonal menu, complemented by a comprehensive selection of daily specials. The head chef endeavours to make the most of the wonderful local produce so abundantly available in the Co Down locale. The pub welcome families, couples and large groups alike, and features an elegant private room accommodating up to 50 people which can be tailored to the specific requirements of guests in terms of menus and entertainment. The Hillside is also one of Northern Ireland’s first dog-friendly pubs, and has become a very popular destination for dog owners. It also offers an extensive drinks selection and weekly entertainment. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

HOP HOUSE

LOCATION: BANGOR OWNER: ANDREW GEDGE; RACHEL MORROW, GENERAL MANAGER HISTORY: The premises has had a mighty public bar history in Bangor, formerly Coyles, Donnegans and The Cart Wheel. Current ownership took over in 2015, followed by a major renovation and re-branding in 2016 totalling a £500,000 investment. STYLE: The front bar greets you with a shabby-chic-meets-retro feel, with its vintage red leather booth-style seating, brick walls, neon signs and hanging light bulbs. Further features include

industrial half exposed cement walls and flooring, yellow neon painted rails and pipes, gig posters, old school blackboards with quotes, sticker-bombed surfaces and street art by employees or local artists. USPs: Hop House boasts a front bar, upstairs bistro, beer garden, secret house and snug room, with plenty of quirky features to keep the eyes wandering. The venue offers patrons free entertainment seven days a week, specialising in vinyl DJs with its own House Collective, retro gamer nights and play your own vinyl. The beer garden really sets Hop House apart from other venues with the outside bar, pizza oven and BBQ, as well as an open fire in the secret house. Customer experience is key, and making it unique and authentic is the aim.

HOUSE

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNERS: ALAN CLANCY & NOLA CLAN; MICHAEL STEWART, DIRECTOR; PAUL KELLY, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR ON OFFER: Situated in the centre of Belfast’s vibrant Botanic Avenue, House Belfast is a boutique 31-bedroom hotel with an outstanding cherry blossom tree in the main bar, a mezzaninestyle bar area, function room, cafe space and a whiskey room with wooden-clad walling. Follow the stairs beneath the famous cherry blossom tree, to find Onyx nightclub, the latest addition to House Belfast. If staying in one of its 31 boutique bedrooms, sampling an expertly crafted cocktail, or enjoying a tasty treat from one of its menus, you can relax in unique décor and beautiful surroundings, with a personal touch and excellent customer service. USPs: The venue can take you from morning to evening, with versatile bar spaces beautifully designed to host all occasions. With attention to every detail and a personal touch, a warm Belfast welcome is always awaiting from House’s passionate team.

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THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 35


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

HOWARD STREET LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: MARTY MURPHY

JUMON

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: NIALL DAVIS; TAMSIN HARPER, CHEF

ON OFFER: Opened in 2013 by award-winning chef Marty Murphy, the eponymously named Howard Street has gained a reputation for high-quality fayre with south eastern undertones that result in dishes that people come back for time and time again. STYLE: In a lofty, industrial-esque setting, which underwent a refurbishment in the last year, customers can enjoy the food along with its carefully selected wines or show-stopping cocktails. USPs: The words ‘fresh locally-sourced ingredients’ are becoming lost in translation these days; however, Howard Street delivers exactly these, in a menu where flavour is always at the forefront. With an emphasis on quality, this is reflected in not only its food, but the service, with attentive and experienced staff providing the finishing touches to a unique dining experience.

KEEGAN’S BAR

HISTORY: Opened in February 2018 on Fountain Street, struggled following the Primark fire as was closest building on other side of cordon. Has managed to see it through and is now thriving. STYLE: Steam punk Asian with some nice wood. USPs: 100% plant based.

KELLY’S CELLARS

LOCATION: ARMAGH

LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNERS: KEVIN & DONNA KEEGAN; LAURA KEEGAN, MANAGER ON OFFER: Keegan’s Bar bistro is a local, familyrun business in Armagh City within easy walking distant of the city centre, GAA athletic grounds and the Armagh Rugby Club. HISTORY: It was opened in 1994 as Damper Murphy’s and rebranded after extensive renovations as Keegan’s Bar in 2008. It is a warm, friendly and welcoming establishment serving delicious, locally-produced food with hard-to-beat prices. STYLE: The interior consists of beautifully-carved wooden panelling with the ceiling adorned by antique moulded cornices, all of which is complemented by ambient lighting providing an ideal atmosphere for a relaxing dining encounter, mixing a fine blend of both good food and a pub experience which is shared by both locals and visitors alike. USPs: Keegan’s Bar offers a unique and special adventure to all who visit Armagh. 36 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

OWNER: LILY MULHOLLAND ON OFFER: Kelly’s Cellars is Belfast’s oldest traditional Irish pub, often described as ‘a hidden gem that oozes old traditional values’. It lays claim to the best pint of Guinness in Belfast, served with its homemade Irish beef stew. HISTORY: Built in 1720, it is situated in the heart of the city. United Irishmen used Kelly’s Cellars as a meeting place and plotted the 1798 rebellion against English rule. Kelly’s Cellars has changed very little in 200 years and still has most of its original features. STYLE: The whitewashed walls and uneven concrete floor are in keeping with a traditional Irish bar. The bar is what you would imagine a few hundred years ago; low arches and an original open fire makes Kelly’s Cellars feel like home from home and people singing a song or two is a familiar part of the vibrant pub. USPs: Although Kelly’s is in the City Centre, it boasts a local clientele from all over Belfast and you’re always guaranteed some local banter and a true Irish welcome. It has a rich musical heritage, and musicians from all over Ireland and beyond often call in for a few tunes in a relaxed atmosphere. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

KILLYHEVLIN

LOCATION: ENNISKILLEN OWNERS: JACQUELINE WRIGHT & LEIGH WATSON, DIRECTORS ON OFFER: Commanding stunning views overlooking scenic Lough Erne, Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges lays claim as Fermanagh’s leading four-star retreat. The multi-award-winning hotel is located just 1km from the thriving island town of Enniskillen. Featuring 71 luxury hotel rooms and 14 self-catering lakeside lodges, the hotel offers a range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and interests. HISTORY: Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges has been owned by the Watson family for over 40 years, offering a warm welcome to both new and returning guests. USPs: Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel offers excellent food and beverage options including the award-winning Kove Restaurant for those seeking a fine dining experience or its Lakeside Grill & Bar featuring views of Lough Erne. Facilities include Kalm Spa, specialising in both Elemis and Image skincare products, as well as an exclusive health club with fitness suite, indoor swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub. The hotel features a range of banqueting and conference options for up to 500 delegates.

LA TAQUERIA

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNERS: ADAM LYNAS, JOE GOUDIE, ANDY REA, & STEPHEN HALLER; JOE GOUDIE, ADAM LYNAS & ELIZA VIGNOLLE, MANAGEMENT ON OFFER: La Taqueria is a restaurant serving top quality, authentic Mexican food and drinks at an affordable price in a relaxed yet professional setting, with all dishes priced below £12. HISTORY: Adam’s love affair with Mexican food started in 2010 when he first visited Eliza in her home city of Monterrey. La Taqueria opened its doors in September 2016. STYLE: Hues of traditional Mexican pink, yellow and blue cover the walls, and sombreros or plastic cactus are nowhere to be seen. USPs: The food on offer in La Taqueria is some of the only truly Mexican food available on these islands. Most of what is on offer as Mexican food is in fact Tex-Mex of some other vague imitation of the idea of Mexico. 38 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

KIWI’S BREW BAR LOCATION: PORTRUSH OWNER: KRISTOFER CHARTERIS HISTORY: Located in a building dating back to the 1930s with a licensed cinema and boasting sports screens over three floors, the business hopped onto the Portrush beer scene in 2014. STYLE: A unique spot where New Zealand meets Northern Ireland. The bar is perfect for an after-work pint or a Saturday night out dancing to live bands. MARKET POSITIONING: All ages enjoy the venue, from the littlest of bambinos to the eldest of pensioners wanting to enjoy a wee tipple. With locals, backpackers, tourists and surfers being its lifeblood, Kiwi’s welcomes any handsome strangers that cross its threshold. USPs: It is the biggest sports venue on the North Coast, priding itself on being the only craft beer bar in the area forging strong links with domestic and artisan brewers alike. Kiwi’s sources suds that you can’t get anywhere else along with the best-known beer brands. Craft ciders, gins and over 30 Irish whiskies stand proudly in its chillers and on its shelves allowing any palate to enjoy a visit to Kiwi’s.

LAVERYS/WOODWORKERS LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNERS: BERNARD & DAVID LAVERY, MICHAEL QUIGLEY ON OFFER: The Woodworkers Beer & Wine Grocers is a newly-renovated, independent off licence opened in late December 2017 as the latest addition to Laverys. It stocks a carefully-curated list of new wines, some exclusive to Northern Ireland, and a wide range of premium spirits. Canning services for draught products are also available, allowing consumers to drink fresh at home whatever is pouring on the rotating taps next door at The Woodworkers Bar, Laverys’ well-established Rotating Tap Room, which opened in December 2015 and features 14 rotating beer taps, an ever-expanding cocktail offering, vegan-friendly food menu and unpretentious, inviting atmosphere. STYLE: Relaxed, modern. USPs: Lays claim as the leading craft beer dispensary in Northern Ireland offering canning services for draught products, and an independent off-licence. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

LIMELIGHT

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: LIMELIGHT BELFAST

LOBSTER POT

LOCATION: STRANGFORD OWNER: STEVEN KILGORE; DAVID KENNEDY, MANAGER ON OFFER: A small cosy bar offering a friendly welcome for a pint by the fire, or a lively night filled to the rafters with live music or the jukebox on repeat, with a Lough view restaurant, elegant lounge and private beer garden to the rear making it a lovely location for private dining or celebrating that special occasion.

HISTORY: Limelight is a mid-sized live music and nightclub venue complex, which initially opened in 1987. The venue is split into four spaces - Limelight 1 (rebuilt in 2012 with state-of-the-art lighting and sound), the original venue now called Limelight 2, Katy’s Bar and The Rock Garden - an outdoor terrace. Limelight has strong associations with new bands, homegrown and international talent and no-frills club nights. STYLE: Victorian USPs: The Limelight has hosted legendary shows from the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Jeff Buckley and Manic Street Preachers, with acts such as Slayer, Primal Scream, Two Door Cinema Club, Steve Aoki, The Darkness and Disclosure all playing in the last couple of years.

LONDONDERRY ARMS LOCATION: CARNLOUGH OWNER: DENISE O’NEILL

HISTORY: The ‘Pot’ re-opened in summer 2014, after businessman Steven Kilgore took on the challenge to revive the once wellknown restaurant. In so doing, he has created an award-winning seafood restaurant with character and charm. STYLE: The interior is an array of soft green, blue and cream textiles, which complement the surroundings and view of Strangford Lough from the dining room. USPs: Strangford has featured on BBC’s UK Village of the Year 2018, and plays host to HBO’s Game of Thrones, filmed in Castle Ward with the Pot catering for www.gameofthronestours.com. GoT fans from all over the world dine in its themed room with authentic horns, tankards, cloaks and crowns; a ‘must do’ for fans of the show.

LOUGH ERNE RESORT & SPA LOCATION: ENNISKILLEN

OWNER: TRU HOTELS AND RESORTS ON OFFER: The five-star luxury Lough Erne Resort nestles within a 600-acre peninsula and is truly the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the spectacular Fermanagh Lakelands region. The multi-award-winning Resort is located between the breathtakingly beautiful shorelines of Lough Erne and Castle Hume Lough, just 10 minutes from the historic town of Enniskillen. The Resort features 120 rooms and suites and each year welcomes visitors from all over the world.

HISTORY: Built in 1847 and once owned by Sir Winston Churchill, the hotel has been under O’Neill family ownership for more than 70 years. STYLE: Georgian architecture, cosy lounges, antique furniture, paintings by local artists and roaring open log fires all provide a unique atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. USPs: Carnlough is located on the Causeway Coastal Route, midway between Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway.Arkle, the famous Irish thoroughbred’s horseshoe, proudly hangs in the Arkle Whisky Bar. www.hospitalityreviewni.com

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HISTORY: Lough Erne Resort celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. It was acquired in 2015 by a US investment group led by Vine Avenue Advisors, LLC and TRU Hotels and Resorts. USPs: It boasts world-class facilities including dedicated conference and banqueting space for up to 400 people, five excellent food and beverage options – including The Catalina Restaurant, Northern Ireland’s first 3 AA rosette hotel restaurant - and the only authentic, wholly-Thai Spa in the UK and Ireland. The complex has two championship golf courses – the Castle Hume and the signature Faldo course – two floodlit driving ranges and the Lough Erne Golf Academy, which is a state-of-the-art practice and tuition facility. THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019 HRNI • 39


KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

MARY McBRIDE’S

LOCATION: CUSHENDUN OWNERS: CORMAC & FIONA MCKEEGAN

MATTIE’S MEETING HOUSE

LOCATION: CAIRNCASTLE, CO ANTRIM OWNER: MARTHA DAVIS ON OFFER: Mattie’s is very much a traditional country pub. The tables are made from Singer sewing machines, on the bar are the marks where they once cut tobacco and there will be logs on the fire to greet you on a cold day. Bring your instrument and join in with the local musicians for a bit of craic.

ON OFFER: Good food and drinks served along the Antrim Coast Road. HISTORY: The pub has been open from the early 1900s and is named after its most famous owner Mary McBride. It’s been owned by Cormac and Fiona from 2006. STYLE: Old-style Irish pub with loads of charm and a country-style seafood and steak restaurant on upper floor. USPs: What makes Mary McBride’s special is the charm and people that you meet when visiting.

McALEERS BAR

LOCATION: DUNGANNON

STYLE: One of the area’s oldest pubs, Mattie’s Meeting House can be traced back to the early 1800s. Current licensee, Martha, took over in 2012 but started working there back in 1997. USPs: Mattie’s offers great, home-cooked food at affordable prices, with families, couples, groups and tourists of all ages enjoying the experience. At the heart of the community, the pub raises thousands of pounds for local charities, is dog friendly and includes a beer garden which is busy when the sun shines.

McCONVILLE’S

LOCATION: PORTADOWN

OWNER: THE MCALEER FAMILY

OWNER: ANDY ROBINSON

ON OFFER: McAleers incorporates buzz bars, cocktail bars, a nightclub with VIP Pods, sports bar, traditional pub and outside smoking bar. McAleers caters for a wide range of customers due to the choice of bars available and the variety of surroundings in which patrons can enjoy a night out.

ON OFFER: McConvilles bar incorporates three individual nightlife experiences into one heart of Portadown. Established over 150 years ago, McConvilles bar has developed into a hospitality culture of its own, with the edition of Ma Berry’s and Euphoria Nightclub.

HISTORY: Established in 1979, McAleers Bar has grown from its early days as a traditional pub to a multi-roomed venue three times its original size. Constantly reinventing itself and winning numerous accolades along the way, it provides its customers with a versatile and vibrant venue which prides itself on customer satisfaction. STYLE: McAleers is a series of interconnecting bars; each with its own theme ranging from a traditional pub to a modern cocktail lounge and nightclub. USPs: McAleers has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere with excellent facilities and customer service, and a choice of bars with no cover charge. Plans are underway for another major refurbishment in 2019/20 and the McAleer family look forward to continuing to provide a high standard of service to their customers in the coming years. 40 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

HISTORY: McConville’s has been situated on the corner of Portadown’s Mandeville and West streets since the 1800s, and was previously called The Mandeville Arms. McConville’s once bottled their own blended whiskey, port wines, Jamaican rum, vodka, Guinness and beers. In 2015, the bar celebrated its 150th anniversary, attended by Eamon Molloy who began working for the McConvilles and McAnallens in 1956, was promoted to manager in 1972 and retired in 2006. USPs: Original pub features include wooden snugs with bells fitted to call service, moulded ceilings, etched windows and Victorian tiles, with some of the Russian oak fixtures in the bar said to be copied from designs used in the Titanic. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

THE MERCHANT HOTEL LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: BILL WOLSEY, BEANNCHOR; GAVIN CARROLL, GM HISTORY: Since opening in the Cathedral Quarter in April 2006, The Merchant Hotel has breathed new life into Belfast City Centre. In 2010, a further 36 rooms were added to the existing 26 as well as a luxury spa, rooftop gymnasium, a dedicated meetings and events floor and a jazz bar. It is now Belfast’s only AA five-star hotel. STYLE: A harmonious blend of Victorian grandeur and Art Deco elegance, the original Grade A listed building is adorned with the finest furniture and impeccable finishes, delivering opulence at every turn. USPs: Delighting guests with first-class service, unrivalled decadent accommodation and an unparalleled food and drink offering, The Merchant Hotel provides five-star luxury while still being affordable. It has accumulated over 100 prestigious accolades, including the UK Hotel Awards Best UK Hotel and World’s Best Cocktail Bar at the Tales of the Spirit Cocktail Awards. Offering a wide range of choice from breakfast, to the traditional Afternoon Tea, right through to a nine-course tasting menu, dining in The Merchant Hotel is an experience not to be missed.

MORNING STAR LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: McALISTER FAMILY

MILLBROOK LODGE HOTEL LOCATION: BALLYNAHINCH OWNER: MAGUIRE FAMILY ON OFFER: In a rapidlychanging world, the familyowned Millbrook Lodge has never lost sight of its core values. Since taking over the running of the hotel in the early 1980s, the Maguire family and their dedicated staff have worked tirelessly to provide delicious food and exceptional customer service and are delighted to still be able to offer the same high standards today, but in even more appealing surroundings. HISTORY: Benefitting from its enviable position on the edge of the Mourne Mountains, the Georgian manor house, a former Church of Ireland rectory, has been extensively, but sympathetically renovated over the past five years. With the help of their design-team, the family has managed the fine balancingact of seamlessly integrating the charm of the past with the up-to-date requirements of the present-day. USPs: Set in over six acres of beautifully-landscaped grounds, featuring a wedding garden and church ruins, the Millbrook Lodge is a truly unique venue with a warm, welcoming ambience which appeals to a wide variety of guests, all of whom benefit from the individual attention that a family-owned hotel can offer.

MUDDLERS CLUB LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: GARETH MCCAUGHEY, OWNER/CHEF; BARRY FLETCHER, GM

ON OFFER: A traditional-style pub and restaurant, it provides everything from a buffet lunch to a top-end gourmet Beef Club, showcasing the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer. HISTORY: Situated in Pottinger’s Entry, a narrow cobbled entry running between two of the City Centre’s busiest thoroughfares, the Morning Star is one of Belfast’s oldest pubs dating back as far as 1810 and first built as a coaching stop for the Belfast to Dublin post. It was purchased from Brendan Boylan in the late 1980s by current owners, the McAlister family. STYLE: Traditional Victorian. USPs: Award-winning gastropub, sourcing its own prize-winning beef and lamb, growing its own organic herbs and salads and sourcing locally wherever possible. An elite team of WorldHosttrained bar and waiting staff provide great customer service and experience. 42 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

HISTORY: Opened quietly in a back-street lane of the Cathedral Quarter in October of 2015 with a focus on high-end dining in a relaxed atmosphere. STYLE: Modern post-industrial style, open kitchen, lively and hip atmosphere with fun music. MARKET POSITIONING: Looking to offer a food experience different to that available elsewhere in the Belfast area. USPs: The style of high-end dining without any of the frills makes it a different way of enjoying a meal of higher quality. Its welcoming stance for all people makes it unique to those focused on one demographic clientele. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

NOBLE

LOCATION: HOLYWOOD OWNERS: PEARSON MORRIS & SAUL MCCONNELL

NORTHERN LIGHTS LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: GALWAY BAY BREWERY HISTORY: With 12 outlets in its pub estate, Galway Bay Brewery expanded into the Northern Ireland market, opening Northern Lights bar on the Ormeau Road in November 2017. STYLE: Laid out over two floors, there is a relaxed atmosphere with an emphasis on fun with pool and foosball tables and a plethora of board games for all ages.

MARKET POSITIONING: Neighbourhood restaurant.

MARKET POSITIONING: Northern Lights is the largest craft beer bar in Northern Ireland, backed by the multi-award-winning Galway Bay Brewery. Food is served 12-10pm daily from a locallysourced menu with its speciality being its Hellfire Chicken Wings, coated in a secret recipe Galway Bay Brewery sauce made using its double-award-winning Of Foam and Fury double IPA.

USPs: It has a Bib Gourmand from Michelin, which denotes a restaurant that delivers skilful cooking at great prices.

USPs: Dedicated to craft beer, Northern Lights has 20 rotational beer taps and an international bottled beer list of 120-plus.

HISTORY: Opened September 2016, full refurbishment of premises from April to September 2016. STYLE: Modern bistro.

NORTHERN WHIG LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: STEPHEN MAGORRIAN, HORATIO GROUP ON OFFER: The Northern Whig is open seven days per week, offering casual dining, small plates and contemporary gastro choices, lunch and evening, in addition to a huge selection of premium wines, spirits, beers and cocktails. Live entertainment is provided five evenings per week, as well as Sunday afternoon, and there is a mezzanine area overlooking the main bar which is available for private bookings. HISTORY: The Northern Whig reopened its doors after an extensive refurbishment project that saw a complete transformation for the building in April 2016. Its name is taken from the newspaper, no longer in publication, which used to occupy this building, Northern Whig House. In previous times, the building has been a hotel and a gentleman’s club. USPs: Situated at the entrance to the Cathedral Quarter, The Northern Whig provides a memorable dining and drinking experience in the heart of Belfast. With a blend of luxury, comfort and glamour, The Whig is dedicated to delivering the best that Belfast has to offer in all aspects of hospitality. 44 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

NU DELHI

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: NAZIM DIN, MD ON OFFER: A great atmosphere along with fantastic food, and a great selection of wine and cocktails. HISTORY: Friends and family first began enjoying the array of Indian cuisine offered by Nu Delhi back in 1982, and it has since come on leaps and bounds; most recently moving to a bigger site in Belfast. STYLE: A sensational loft-style restaurant. USPs: Nu Delhi’s cuisine and chefs derive mainly from North India, with the team working tirelessly to create their own blend of spices and bring guests unique flavours. The restaurant has also gone one step further to create its own fusion grill aspect, using locally-sourced food such as monk fish and sea bass with an Indian twist. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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NUMBER 7 DUKE STREET LOCATION: WARRENPOINT

OCHO TAPAS BISTRO LOCATION: PORTRUSH

OWNER: KRIS FLETCHER

OWNERS: SEAN & TRUDY BROLLY

ON OFFER: Number 7 Duke Street has worked hard over the last three years to bring back a good night out with excellent food and entertainment for the people of Co Down and further afield.

HISTORY: Ocho Tapas Bistro is located on Main Street, Portrush, where both Sean, front of house, and Trudy, head chef, grew up. While living and working in Spain for many years and enjoying both the culture and food, it was Trudy’s vision to create the perfect setting for a relaxed tapas meal. After her return to Ireland in 2009, Trudy and her husband Sean decided to make this happen. Ocho Tapas Bistro opened in Coleraine in December 2013. Soon realising they had something people wanted but the location was wrong, the couple moved to Portrush. After some work and redecoration, Ocho was soon up and running and, since then, the kitchen has been revamped completely over the last three and a half years, and the next project is to revamp the décor in the restaurant.

HISTORY: Located in the seaside town of Warrenpoint in Co Down, it was taken over in the summer of 2015 and had a complete refurbishment from ground level up, officially opening in November 2015. Its newest venue is Rocky Mountain Cottage, a unique wedding venue situated in the heart of the Mourne Mountains, offering a unique option for any happy couple. STYLE: Modern deluxe with optimum comfort in all areas, it offers a range of locally-sourced food and premium cocktails. USPs: Number 7 Duke Street offers something for everyone from an active bar with a wide range of local and international spirits, beers and cocktails, to a thriving restaurant offering a range of dishes to suit all palates and all budgets, an award-winning live music venue with a large selection of music genres and a newly multi-functioning beer garden.

O’NEILL’S (RED NED’S) LOCATION: ARMAGH OWNER: MALACHY O’NEILL HISTORY: Red Ned’s is situated on Ogle Street in the heart of Armagh City, and its history dates back over 200 years. Edward O’Neill (Red Ned) purchased the pub on January 24, 1907, succeeded by his son Sean in 1965 and then the current custodian, his grandson Malachy, in 1996. STYLE: The premises were extended and given a facelift in 1998. Ned’s has always been a traditional family-run pub with an emphasis on good service and quality with a very friendly and loyal customer base.

USPs: Irish tapas with the main focus on using the very best of local produce from the borough and NI. Spanish recipes with a twist make Ocho Tapas stand out from the crowd.

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USPs: O’Neill’s aims to cover all bases with live sport, live music and a fine selection of fine Irish whiskeys including its own Bushmills 2007 Centenary Malt. www.hospitalityreviewni.com

STYLE: Rustic with no two tables the same, small booths and a raised staged area with benched seating and Spanish décor. Upstairs has a beautiful hand-crafted bar with high ceilings, exposed wooden beams and floor-to-ceiling windows.

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

OWNIES

OWNIES

16-18 JOYMOUNT, CARRICKFERGUS TEL: 028 9335 1850 WEBSITE: www.owniesbarbistro.com

LOCATION: CARRICKFERGUS OWNER: JACK CREIGHTON ON OFFER: With a comprehensive offer spanning a main bar, two lounges, snug and bistro downstairs, upstairs restaurant seating 120, and two beer gardens, Ownies aims to offer as good as, if not better than, the best in Belfast. A family-friendly venue, it is quick to embrace evolving consumer demand; most recently welcoming dogs. Open from 9am daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as functions and weddings, it serves a wide range of fresh, locally sourced dishes. Catering for customers with allergies, produce also benefits from a quality upgrade such as using an onsite sparkling water system to produce a light, crisp batter for scampi. As well as other traditional pub dishes such as fish and chips, lasagne, and beef and Guinness pie, Ownies serves higher end fare from its renowned chowder to speciality fish dishes and tomahawk steaks. A wide drinks offer, meanwhile, includes strong cocktail, whiskey and gin menus, with the right glassware and presentation regarded as vital. Live bands playing at the venue have praised the diversity of its punters, with Ownies attracting a harmonious client base of 18 to 80 year olds and everyone in between. Families come in to dine, including couples that met at the bar and now bring their children there. Beyond locals, visitors and business people from across Northern Ireland often stop by, as well as tourists from further afield. HISTORY: When Jack Creighton took over the bar in 2001, it was known as the Joymount Arms and, before that, the Little Red Pub, which held only 30-40 patrons and had a long-term owner with the nickname of Ownie. Renaming the venue with a nod to the well-known local publican, Jack has since expanded it year on year, and Ownies is now licensed to hold 600 people. STYLE: Bringing a stylish, modern spin to a traditional Irish bar, Ownies is clean, warm, and inviting with open fires, cosy lighting and no less than 22 diverse wall coverings bringing texture and interest to the space. Constant innovation keeps the customers coming back, be it a new gallery showcase for local artists bringing a splash of colour to the restaurant or a green wall supplying herbs for the kitchen. USPs: Owner Jack Creighton places utmost importance on values in the running of his business, taking precedence over money.

Get the values right, he says, and profits will follow. Such values range from providing a quality offer to customers and professional and personal support system for staff members to CSR initiatives in the community. Rather than pocketing a £5 entry fee on this past New Year’s Eve, for example, the proceeds were donated to local charities with over £4,000 raised. With the pub at the heart of the community, it supports local initiatives centred round health and wellbeing in particular, from school programmes to running and cycling clubs. Jack’s background in training and development has brought a further positive dimension

46 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

to the business. In an industry of constant staff turnover, a number of Ownies’ eight-strong team of chefs have been there for over a decade while five of its chefs were trained up from scratch. If a trainee shows the right attitude, Jack will put them through catering college, while he regularly brings in friend and local industry stalwart Sean Owens to inspire the team and reinvigorate the menus. In total, the business employs 38 members of staff, operating as an extended family and keeping customers happy with their banter and craic. Consistency through good systems, strong customer service and creativity are a mantra at Ownies.

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OX

LOCATION: BELFAST

PEADAR O’DONNELL’S BAR LOCATION: DERRY

OWNERS: STEPHEN TOMAN & ALAIN KERLOC’H

OWNERS: PHIL NOLAN & WILLIAM McGUINNESS

ON OFFER: OX is a modern Irish restaurant that seats 40, with a plate glass shop front view over the water, exposed brick and polished concrete details, as well as an intimate mezzanine area for more secluded dining.

ON OFFER: In recent years, Waterloo Street has become the hub of Derry’s thriving nighttime economy with the jewel in the crown being Peadar O’Donnell’s. Its owners have invested heavily in developing their adjoining premises, The Gweedore Bar and Nightclub 57. This investment has been successful in offering punters a diverse choice of evening entertainment from traditional Irish music to contemporary rock and nightclubbing.

STYLE: The style is relaxed, the décor is paired back and the space buzzes with energy from the open kitchen. USPs: OX menus are designed to showcase excellent meats and sustainably sourced fish whilst equally careful attention is given to seasonal produce. Head chef and owner Stephen Toman is a true believer in seasonality and has the imagination and creativity to bring seemingly mundane ingredients to technicolor life. Alain Kerloc’h, co owner, uses his extensive experience as sommelier and restaurant manager, gained through years in leading Michelin restaurants.

PORTAFERRY HOTEL LOCATION: PORTAFERRY

OWNERS: MARY & CAHAL ARTHURS ON OFFER: News of the re-opening of the Portaferry Hotel in early 2016 sent delight throughout Co Down. Local couple Mary and Cahal Arthurs stepped out of their comfort zone to re-launch and restore the hotel to put Portaferry back on the map. HISTORY: Dating back to the 1700s and situated on the edge of Strangford Lough, the hotel certainly oozes charm and character. STYLE: Having fallen in love with the building, Mary was determined its character would not be lost during the refurb. Setting out to keep the décor in the old style of the building and let customers feel the soul of the building as you walk through the door, the Arthurs have created a wonderful family-friendly feel. You really need to come and stay in the quaint hotel to appreciate all it has to offer, with more than views to boast about. USPs: The restaurant and bar food menus offer wonderful options. Unsurprisingly, given its location, seafood features heavily on the menus alongside other local produce and wonderful local artisan products. Portaferry Hotel caters for every occasion - intimate weddings of up to 80 people, private parties and its famous Gin Afternoons and Sailaway Saturdays. 48 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

HISTORY: Peadar’s is located on a site housing licensed premises for over 200 years. People from all over the North West of Ireland getting the boat to go to work on farms in Scotland would stop off in hostelries in Waterloo Street; hence the Donegal connections in the naming of many of the pubs there. STYLE: Peadar’s has the ambience of an old shop/pub style familiar in Ireland in the early part of the last century. USPs: What makes it special and unique is an emphasis on live traditional Irish music, which can be heard every night and from early evening right through to closing at weekends, while its collection of flags of many nations and bric a brac is renowned.

PRIMROSE

LOCATION: DERRY-LONDONDERRY OWNERS: HUSBAND & WIFE BUTCHER & BAKER TEAM, CIARAN & MELANIE BRESLIN HISTORY: Primrose began in 2011 and has grown from a threeperson team and small premises to a 40-strong team spread over two sites. New premises opened in November 2017, with a huge 5,000 square feet restaurant and cocktail bar (former T & E Howies lighting shop). STYLE: A very rustic cellar basement style in the restaurant with a very Mediterranean feel throughout the whole theme of the restaurant, and a very chic Parisian style cafe area to the front of the building leading into the restaurant. USPs: Serving breakfast through to dinner. With an in-house bakery and butchery, absolutely everything from the breads to the sausages and black pudding on the breakfast menu are created in house on a daily basis. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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KEY: ■ URBAN PUBS ■ RURAL PUBS ■ CITY PUBS ■ RESTAURANTS ■ HOTELS

RUBY’S BAR

LOCATION: LARNE OWNERS: WILLIAM NOBLE & GARETH LIKEN ON OFFER: Situated over three ground floor areas,the newly refurbished bar, restaurant and Cinders nightclub. Ruby’s Larne offers the perfect place to relax with friends over breakfast,lunch or dinner and then party into the evening. The restaurant serves a range of quality fresh food served from 10am - 9pm daily, alongside hand crafted cocktails. HISTORY: Ruby’s Larne is the original Ruby’s where it all started with further outlets subsequently opened in Antrim, Dundonald and a newly acquired venue in Bangor, while the group also operates another Larne venue, Ruby’s Bodega in the town centre. STYLE: Modern Irish bar. USPs: Catch all the sporting action live on one of Ruby’s eight big screens or 3m HD Projector. A newly refurbished and extended beer garden is perfect to enjoy one of its many, hand-crafted cocktails or an ice cold beer in the sun. Cinders, Larne’s only nightclub, has hosted some of the biggest acts around and is available for private hire.

RUBY’S BAR

168 Old Glenarm Rd, Larne TEL: 028 2826 0924 WEBSITE: www.rubysbar/rubys-larne

50 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

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RAMORE WINE BAR LOCATION: PORTRUSH

ROSTREVOR INN

LOCATION: ROSTREVOR

OWNER: McALPIN FAMILY

OWNERS: SETH LINDER & NORMA QUINE

ON OFFER: Renowned for its tasty food, lively atmosphere, and a menu to suit all tastes from pizza, pasta, gyros and steaks to wine bar classics such as fish pie or bang bang chicken. Customers place their own orders and congregate around the oversized desserts cabinet to have a look, creating a bustle and buzz.

HISTORY: Housed in the 18th century building where the Crawford family first began serving drinks in the 1850s, the Rostrevor Inn was opened by Seth Linder and Norma Quine as a gastro pub, traditional bar and B&B in 2015 after a £750,000 renovation.

HISTORY: George & Jane McAlpin met at Portrush’s catering college and, in the 1980s, returned to the North Coast and took over the Ramore bar from Jane’s parents, first running it as a finedining restaurant. STYLE: An informal wine bar, offering contemporary décor and fabulous views out to the Irish Sea through the huge seafront windows. USPs: Situated on the stunning North Coast overlooking Portrush Harbour and beyond, the Ramore offers a unique range of restaurants and bars serving dishes and drinks for all tastes. As well as the wine bar, the complex includes The Mermaid, Neptune & Prawn, Coast, and the Harbour Bistro and Harbour Bar.

SALLY’S

LOCATION: OMAGH OWNERS: OONAGH & JOHN McGIRR HISTORY: One of Northern Ireland’s most celebrated venues, Sally’s of Omagh has been trading under the brand name Sally’s for almost 35 years. The last major renovation was completed in 2008, costing over £3m, and helped solidify Sally’s province-wide reputation for excellence in food, drink and live entertainment. STYLE: The venue is split into four distinct sections, a traditional front bar, modern lounge, award-winning bistro and state-of-theart nightclub.

STYLE: Utilising the magnificent original stone walls and timber beams, the bistro has been beautifully renovated, while drinks are served in the atmospheric cobblestoned stables area and charming traditional bar, Crawfords. MARKET POSITIONING: It serves excellent, great value gastro fare, sourcing local produce where possible, as well as serving local and national craft ales, ciders and gins. With an emphasis on friendly service, the Rostrevor Inn is delighted to welcome many overseas visitors attracted by the beauty of Rostrevor and Carlingford Lough and also to have built up such a large and loyal local customer base. USPs: It has become a cultural hub for the area, hosting one of Ireland’s best folk clubs fortnightly as well as weekly sessions of song, storytelling and traditional music and occasional drama.

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MARKET POSITIONING: Fully-licensed front bar, lounge, bistro and nightclub. USPs: Its traditional front bar offers up live music on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights in its charming traditional surroundings. Sat alongside the front bar is a stylish lounge known for its premium drinks selection, chilled atmosphere and bistro, which has quickly established a reputation for its stunning food and award-winning customer service. The jewel in Sally’s crown is undoubtedly the nightclub; spread over two floors featuring an exclusive VIP lounge, it has become something of a legend in Tyrone, attracting customers from across the province and even further afield with some of the best DJ acts Ireland has to offer. Sally’s views itself as part of the community. 52 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

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SALTWATER BRIG

LOCATION: KIRCUBBIN, CO DOWN

SANDINOS

LOCATION: DERRY

OWNERS: JOE & ORLA McCARTHY

OWNER: JOE MULHERON

ON OFFER: Family-run bar and restaurant.

TYPE OF PREMISES: Popular with visiting students, artists, musicians and chess players, Sandinos is a café-style venue with a lounge and back bar. The main venue is available for private hire for birthdays, weddings, funerals, and all types of social gatherings (bands/DJs/dance nights/ fundraisers/private parties).

HISTORY: Parts of the premises date to 1765, with more recent additions made over the intervening years. Formerly a coaching house for travellers from the then busy port of Portaferry heading to Belfast and further afield, the venue has been owned by the McCarthys since 2005 , with the couple giving the place their own style through various renovation works since then. STYLE: Good old-fashioned cosy Irish country pub with a great beer garden nestled right on the shores of Strangford Lough. USPs: Great service, great food, great craic and friendly locals and staff ready for a chat at the drop of a hat. Cosy traditional wood burning stoves for those cold winter months, with a fabulous garden for the warmer times.

SHEPHERD’S REST

LOCATION: DRAPERSTOWN

HISTORY: Sandinos opened in 1998. STYLE: Named after Augusto C. Sandino, a Nicaraguan revolutionary leader, the venue carried through the theme in its décor with independence flags, portraits of famed revolutionaries and quirky memorabilia, creating a uniquely vibrant atmosphere. USPs: Grab a coffee and a good book during the day while, in the evening, Sandinos often hosts various artistic events including the Monday Night Cure, a spoken word night. A major live music venue, it also showcases all styles of music and DJs. Lonely Planet says: ‘From the posters of Che to the Free Palestine flag to the fairtrade coffee and gluten-free beer, this relaxed cafe-bar exudes a liberal, left-wing vibe.’

SHU

LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNER: DOYLE FAMILY

OWNERS: BRIAN MCCANN, JULIAN HENRY & ALAN REID

ON OFFER: The bar is everything you’d expect from an old-world drinking establishment, turf fire, heavy wood, photos that tell stories from a bygone era, and even a classic red telephone box. There’s a myriad of function rooms to the back and upstairs, a spacious barbecue area and even an expansive campsite with a tiny log-fire cottage that give this family-run pub an extra and rather unique charm.

HISTORY: SHU opened in October 2000 and has been under the same management since the beginning, with Brian McCann joining the team in 2004. The restaurant underwent a major refurbishment and extension in the summer of 2018.

HISTORY: Owned by the Doyle family since the 1930s and taken over by the current proprietors Michael and Bernadette Doyle in the mid-1960s, what was a simple rustic bar is now a destination in its own right not just for locals, but international travellers. Colin and Josie joined the business around 15 year ago and have since opened a campsite facility and have been attracting visitors from all over the world. USPs: Customers appreciate the family values of the bar and include both locals and visitors to the nearby Beaghmore Stone Circles. Seamus Heaney left a comment in the visitor book, saying ‘The Rest is the best’. Many Doyle members from all ages are very hands-on in the running of the pub and they do everything from pulling a pint for a local farmer to catering for upwards of 200 wedding guests or visiting organisations. The family is an integral part of the banter, having built up a close bond with the locals who span generations. 54 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

STYLE: The restaurant is located in two converted Victorian terrace townhouses. The interior design is modernclassical in style with dark wenge wood, limestone and brown and cream leather used extensively throughout the decor. The main restaurant space has a theatre style open kitchen, which adds to the warm and lively atmosphere of the dining room. USPs: SHU has a basement bar area where entertainment and dancing is provided at weekends. The restaurant has won many accolades over the years including Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland at the UK National Restaurant Awards on three separate occasions. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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SPANIARD

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: JANINE KANE ON OFFER: Open seven days a week, offering late nights, live music, a quiet spot to have a post-work pint or even one with your pooch, The Spaniard also offers beautiful burgers from Pablos, delivered direct to your bar stool, and the friendly staff are not only experts in the heaving shelves of spirits behind the bar, but in anything to do with Belfast. Just don’t say you’ll ‘only stop for the one’, because you won’t! USPs: Before Belfast had all the quarters, and the Cathedral Quarter was what it is today, there was The Spaniard. Opened in 2005 by cocktail obsessive Janine Kane, this cosy rum bar, giving decorative nods to surrealist art, religious iconography and rock and roll cover art, has been the destination of choice for locals, lovers, friends, A-list celebrities and anyone remotely connected to Game of Thrones for over a decade. Priding itself on its huge selection of rums and its commitment to high end mixology, The Spaniard’s Dark and Stormys have gained the reputation of being the best in town.

SUNFLOWER

LOCATION: BELFAST

STILLHOUSE

LOCATION: MOIRA OWNERS: STUART & BARBARA HUGHES; MICHELLE McKEOWN, GM ON OFFER: With its beautiful new distillery, gin school and gastropub completed, 2019 brings attention back to where it all started in the Hughes’ kitchen in 2010 with its RubyBlue brand. The StillHouse offers a picturesque venue for visitors, customers and tourists, where the Hughes are proud to offer a true taste of Northern Ireland food, drink, craft and hospitality. MARKET POSITIONING: Distillery gastropub. USPs: A truly unique venue: come for dinner, cocktails or a pint with live music and great craic. Choose a tour, cocktail masterclass in its distillery bar, get married in the loft or distil your own spirits in the gin school.

TAPHOUSE GASTRO PUB LOCATION: ENNISKILLEN

OWNER: PEDRO DONALD & BOB MCMANUS

OWNER: DALE EBBITT

HISTORY: Built in the late 1800s, Sunflower is one of the few remaining corner pubs in Belfast City Centre. If only its walls could talk. Its current custodians took the reins in 2012 and gave it a muchneeded breath of fresh air.

ON OFFER: The Taphouse is located in the suburbs of Enniskillen, offering ample on-site parking and a cosy yet sophisticated atmosphere suitable for any occasion. It combines top-quality pub food with medium brassiere dishes complemented by the carefully-chosen wine list and a wide variety of local craft beers. Local food and suppliers are a key focus with the local green grocer, fish monger and butcher delivering daily to ensure freshness.

STYLE: Bohemian and down to earth. MARKET POSITIONING: Arty, lefty, musos of all ages. USPs: Extensive range of craft beer, wood fired pizza oven, south facing beer garden, live music seven nights a week. 56 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

HISTORY: The site and building were completely refurbished ahead of opening in July 2015. STYLE: Prior to opening, a huge investment was made in creating a warm and inviting bar with an urban gastropub feel where its customers could relax surrounded by modern décor. USPs: It has recently received approved planning to build a 1000-square-foot brewery onto the existing building. This will provide The Taphouse with its own varieties of locally-brewed beer, with future plans to export. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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UNION STREET

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: ANTHEA WILSON; TIRZAH POLLOCK, GENERAL MANAGER ON OFFER: The main bar offers modern furnishings around old roaring fires, with a restaurant serving traditional favourites, which, by night, hosts Belfast’s best drag queens with karaoke and cabaret. The upper floor, The Green Room, is a mezzaninestyle level looking over the bar, creating a serene setting for dining and, by night, a fullyfledged cocktail bar. HISTORY: Open since 1999, The Kremlin quickly established itself as Ireland’s biggest and most popular gay club. The club will soon be entering its 20th year, making it the longest established club in Northern Ireland and it’s never been busier. STYLE: Soviet–themed nightclub over two levels featuring two music rooms and four bars including the prestigious Tsar cocktail Bar. USPs: Ireland’s biggest and busiest gay venue. Regular theme nights and international guest PAs and DJs.

WINE & BRINE LOCATION: MOIRA

VOODOO

LOCATION: BELFAST OWNER: MICKY BROWN ON OFFER: Good People, Nice Beer, Great Music. Split over two floors, the downstairs houses an intimate and relaxed bar hosting some of the city’s finest DJs and open mic nights, while upstairs is a club and music venue where anything goes from hip-hop to DnB, hard rock to bluegrass and even comedians and live theatre. HISTORY: Formerly Copperfields pub, Voodoo opened its doors as a music venue and bar in 2011. Recent and ongoing investment of up to £150,000 has allowed Voodoo to upgrade venue facilities. USPs: It’s been a big challenge for Voodoo’s small family business owners, to create an establishment that would bring people out to enjoy local musicians at their best, and to create a good social pub where new and old friends can meet. They’ve achieved that thanks to dedicated and knowledgeable staff, and the support of an increasing number of good regular customers. The aim now is to increase the range of bar services available to their valued customers. Voodoo continues to bring exciting contemporary music and life to the city centre and, hopefully, the city will come to value the rich cultural contribution of its few grass roots music venues.

YUGO

LOCATION: BELFAST

OWNERS: CHRIS & DAVINA McGOWAN

OWNER: KYLE STEWART & GERARD MCFARLANE

HISTORY: A handsome listed Georgian building on the main street of the pretty town of Moira has housed a unique restaurant since December 2015. The house had been derelict for many years before Chris and Davina took it over and completely refurbished it.

ON OFFER: Highest standards of quality and freshness combining modern-creative and traditional Asian styles of cooking with a Belfast Bushido attitude.

STYLE: Downstairs is a bright, openkitchen restaurant that seats 90, with the upstairs space seating up to 40. There is also a selection of private dining spaces on the ground floor and first floor, elegantly comfortable rooms used for smaller parties, meetings and private dinners. The restaurant continues to develop and grow, recently opening a chic and luxurious upstairs bar, a rooftop vegetable and herb garden, and an outdoor deck. The restaurant interiors are stylish – clean and modern with comfy teal blue banquettes, booths and portraits of Irish literary figures by local artist Jonathan Aiken. USPs: Wine & Brine is so called as a nod to the generous pleasures of the table, and also as a reference to the old-school, tried and tested technique of maximising flavour, both of which are key components in the restaurant’s success. Bringing to today’s table age-old processes like brining, pickling and fermenting, these are skills that have been part of Chris’s repertoire for decades, and were a natural element for him to emphasise in his first restaurant. 58 • HRNI THE TOP 100 HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES 2019

HISTORY: Yugo opened at the end of 2016. STYLE: High-ceilinged, modern and well lit, with baskets hanging from the ceiling, white wood and iron framed benches and stools. USPs: Yugo serves high quality Asian fusion dining with courteous and knowledgeable staff combining to make an experience you won’t get elsewhere. twitter.com: @Hosp_ReviewNI

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Hospitality Review NI Top 100  

Hospitality Review NI Top 100

Hospitality Review NI Top 100  

Hospitality Review NI Top 100

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