Diverse group's new move
The Brendan Duddy Group is a multi-million pound business which comprises a range of companies with interests in property, restaurants, cafes, shops, hotels, bars and off licences.
But some of its trading business in the retail and restaurant sector has been badly hit by the recession. Shops in the Foyleside and the Richmond shopping centres have closed and the subsidiaries operating them are being wound-up.
The group said the new hotel represented a change in strategy as it exits direct management of service businesses.
Its river-front restaurant known as The Garage closed at the turn of the year, but will reopen on July 18 as the Queen's Quay Social Club, creating 22 jobs in a joint venture with an internationally acclaimed chef.
The senior chef and manager of the new Queen's Quay restaurant is Darren Iddon, who has held senior chef roles at leading restaurants in New York, Singapore and Hong Kong and Deane's in Belfast. Brendan Duddy Jr said: "He is bringing other great chefs with him, because they want to work with him."
The group was founded by Brendan Duddy Sr, who is recognised as one of the key figures in bringing peace to Northern Ireland as an intermediary between the Provisional IRA, the UK Government, security services and politicians.
He was given the code name the 'mountain climber' by the security services, but has been seriously ill in recent years following a stroke.