Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

New restaurant at site of Royal Avenue fashion store to lure more diners to Belfast

Investment plans: this part of Royal Avenue is to get a new restaurant and a bar among other amenities

Hip fashion company SuperGroup plc is shutting one of its Belfast city centre shops – to make way for a new restaurant.

SuperGroup has lodged a planning application to convert the SuperDry Womenswear Outlet store in Royal Avenue into a two floor restaurant.

The store, previously named Cult, was one of SuperGroup's first stores when it opened in 2002.

Nigel Jobson, head of property at SuperGroup, said the store had been marketed "without much joy".

Confirming the application was for a change of use, he said no agreement had yet been made with any restaurateurs to operate in the listed building, which it occupies on a leasehold basis.

A spokesman said that the jobs of five people who work there would likely be transferred to SuperDry's other store at Victoria Square.

If approved, the application would permit a restaurant on the ground and first floor of the listed building, at 73-87 Royal Avenue.

Another new restaurant could only be a good thing, according to Belfast Telegraph restaurant critic Joris Minne.

"I believe the more the better because it's good for the customer in terms of choice but also in terms of Belfast's reputation as a foodie destination."

Around 15 new restaurants had opened in Belfast since before Christmas, he said.

The lower end of Royal Avenue was "kind of a forgotten part of the city centre and anything that encourages footfall should help drive further regeneration into that area".

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