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Bangor hotel that hosted Van Morrison on the market at £950k

By Margaret Canning

A new era could dawn for the Royal Hotel in Bangor as agents advertise the famous venue for sale at £950,000. Summed up in a sales brochure as ‘the spirit of Bangor,’ the Royal Hotel has hosted Van Morrison and other big names over its long history.

But it’s been closed since October 2014 - and now efforts to find a buyer are being renewed. The hotel was built in 1773 and then rebuilt in 1932 by the O’Hara family.

The O’Haras ran it until the early Nineties before selling it to the Donegan family.

Fixed charge receivers are now selling the property after Royal Hotel (Bangor) Ltd was placed in receivership. The hotel has 50 rooms, two bars, a beer garden and a restaurant. According to the marketing brochure by Frazer Kidd, a purchaser could have the option of splitting the Windsor Bar from the hotel to sell as a separate entity or lease to a pub operator. 

The family still runs Donegan’s Bar in the town. But Paul Donegan would not comment yesterday on whether it has any interest in reacquiring the hotel. Selling agent Frazer Kidd described the Royal as “a landmark seafront hotel in the centre of Bangor... boasting a handsome bay fronted facade with tower”. A large amount of furniture, beds, chairs, tables and kitchen equipment are to be included in the sale.

At the time of the hotel’s sudden closure in October 2014, long-term employee Ricky Gordon reminisced about the stay of Giant Haystacks, a major celebrity in the early Eighties.

The wrestler has required its doors to be folded back to accommodate his girth.

“They had to build a special bed for him. He repaid our good Ulster hospitality by smashing Jackie Fullerton to the ground live on TV,” he said.

Permission was granted in 2011 for plans to rebuild the hotel. The plans provided for the demolition of the hotel and replacement with a new 52-room hotel and 33 apartments.

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