Belfast's Golden Mile set to sparkle again
We've become accustomed to writing about the decline of Belfast's Golden Mile, that fabled part of the city once thronged (or so legend has it) with drinkers and diners, emerging stuffed and happy from Chez Delbart or Roscoff before going for a drink in Paradise Lost or Lavery's (though the latter is still alive and well).
There's no question that the Golden Mile has lost a lot of its cachet and allure, mainly due to the emergence of the Cathedral Quarter as the place to go for pubs and restaurants in Belfast.
Yet a brace of announcements and developments this week suggest that there could be a little bit more mileage (sorry) obtained from Shaftesbury Square, Bradbury Place and Dublin Road.
On Monday, the Richland Group announced it had planning permission for a nine-storey apartment block, with cafes on the ground floor, on Dublin Road.
And the old tech building on College Square East has been bought by a Welsh builder of student accommodation.
Both announcements promise a new lease of life for the area, and could even result in the Golden Mile getting a share in the spends which have come into the Cathedral Quarter.
Cannily, pub company Jar Ltd has spotted that the area is likely to progress and start to thrive again, and is making its way into Auntie Annie's, the overlooked poor relation of the CDC Leisure portfolio following its administration way back in 2010.
Jar Ltd wants to get AA's back on her feet again – and with the pitter patter of student feet due in the area very soon, it seems like a wise move.