Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Former Ulsterville Presbyterian Church ready for new lease of life as upmarket eatery on Belfast's Lisburn Road

Kris Turnbull promises world-class dining experience
Kris Turnbull promises world-class dining experience

A new 50-seater restaurant and shop in a former church is close to completion after a £2.2m investment.

Saphyre will open its doors in the old Ulsterville Presbyterian Church on Belfast's Lisburn Road on November 28, promising "fine dining" in opulent surroundings, while the attached store will sell "gifts and accessories".

It's backed by architectural firm Kris Turnbull Studios and is the second phase of its restoration of the Grade B-listed church.

It moved its headquarters to the site after an initial development and said 16 jobs have been created with the restaurant and store.

"We have extensively researched and visited some of the world's finest hotels and restaurants for inspiration to create a world-class dining experience here in the heart of south Belfast," said Kris Turnbull.

The architectural practice is also expanding.

He said: "We are currently working on projects in 11 different countries and are planning to expand into new markets later this year.

"Exporting has rapidly become a large part of our business and in the last 12 months we've doubled our employees at the studio to 18 staff to accommodate the significant business we have secured internationally."

The practice was also behind the redevelopment of the Chelsea Wine Bar on the Lisburn Road which is about to reopen.

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