Aloha! Belfast to get taste of Hawaii with new grill bar along with 30 new jobs
Northern Ireland is set to get its first taste of Hawaiian cuisine with a new grill bar specialising in burgers, opening in Belfast - bringing 30 new jobs.
Hawaiian burger and sandwich concept Kua 'Aina is opening in Victoria Square - shortly after it was revealed US-chain Five Guys is about to open at the city centre shopping centre.
Kua 'Aina has two restaurants in London, but has chosen Belfast as its first location to expand into outside the capital.
And two of the team behind the expansion have their roots firmly in Northern Ireland.
Paul De Francisci - whose mother hails from Newcastle, Co Down - said: "It's two Northern Irish boys bringing a business we started in London back home. It's a natural fit, because of our family backgrounds and the familiarity."
The business's operations director, Patrick Grey, also has family from Ballyclare.
And company director Edward Bardos said Belfast's "vibrancy" was one of the reasons for opening up.
"It's got some vibrancy for me. There's an optimism and it was a chance for us to bring an independent business to where, at the moment, it's mainly national chains," he said.
The restaurant will soon start hiring between 25 and 30 staff, and is due to open in time for Christmas.
And if all is successful, the team are confident it could mean additional outlets being set up elsewhere in Northern Ireland.