First fashion boutique to open in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter
A renewal of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter is continuing as a designer prepares to open the area's first fashion boutique.
Belfast-born Larissa Watson, who has worked in fashion and textiles for around 25 years, said she expects to open in Commercial Court close to the landmark pub the Duke of York next week.
The designer, whose business is known as Goddess & Swift, thinks the Cathedral Quarter could emerge as a recognised retail centre, as well as its present niche as a hub for restaurants and pubs.
"We looked around and thought Commercial Court could be a good match for the business," she said.
"It's quite vibrant – and it's more affordable than other areas such as the Lisburn Road and Chichester Street.
"It's a brand new space so we're fitting it out at the moment."
An artist as well as a designer of textiles and clothing, the business will be the first non-food fixed retail venture in the Cathedral Quarter. Hill Street arts venue The Black Box hosts occasional fashion and vintage bazaars.
Ms Watson's plans comes as the Cathedral Quarter undergoes a period of change, marked by the exit of some familiar faces and the diversification of others.
Restaurateur Nick Price sold his famous Warehouse, now reopened by Duke of York publican Willie Jack as the Harp Bar, while Emma Bricknell has opened chicken restaurant Le Coop, and chef Niall McKenna has opened Hadskis in the site formerly known as Printers.
Printers has relocated further along Donegall Street.