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Belfast restaurant and hotel expanding with new cocktail bar

By John Mulgrew

A Belfast restaurant and hotel which opened less than a year ago is already expanding with a new cocktail bar creating 20 jobs, it can be revealed.

Town Square on Botanic Avenue has quickly become a popular spot for food fans, students and coffee drinkers after opening up at the Crescent Townhouse last year.

The hotel, restaurant and bar was formerly owned by pub chain Wine Inns, but was taken over by businessman Peter Ringland.

Now, following the success of the venture, he's opening a large 80-seater bar, featuring craft beer and cocktails.

"It will create up to 20 jobs. It's adjacent to the cafe and in the place of the old Metro bar," Mr Ringland said.

"We are carrying through the theme from Town Square, and some of the ideas from places like Shoreditch in London and San Francisco."

The bar will open its doors to the public on Friday.

Mr Ringland said it will be targeting an age group of between 20 and 40.

The new bar is being designed by Terry Design, which did work on the existing cafe and restaurant.

Mr Ringland said his venue has been "pretty much full every day" for lunch since it opened.

"The first year has been great, and that's why we are expanding," he said.

"We had a great summer with the tourists and now the students are coming back.

"The cafe is pretty much full every day. We will have a good cocktail offering, craft beer and wine."

And Mr Ringland said customers had been positive about Town Square. "It's been amazing. We are doing pretty well on Tripadvisor and we also have a big following on Instagram."

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