New restaurants to give Belfast's Cathedral Quarter food for thought
The lively, cobblestoned district of the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast city centre is currently a hive of refurbishment activity with at least two venues facing a change of owner and facelift.
Made in Belfast owner Emma Bricknell told the Belfast Telegraph she will soon open free-range chicken restaurant Le Coop in "the heart of the Cathedral Quarter" with the creation of 20 new jobs.
"It will be serving French-Creole and French-Canadian cuisine – all the specialisms like crinkly-cut chips and succotash," she said.
"There'll be lots of retro furniture and scrappy wood."
It's Ms Bricknell's third opening in Belfast since 2008, although she could not confirm the exact venue as negotiations are still taking place.
The restaurateur, who is from the south of England, started with Made in Belfast in Wellington Street, followed by Made in Belfast Cathedral Quarter in Talbot Street.
Ms Bricknell added that her new venture is "self-funded because the bankers are lending b****r all".
She said she also hoped to open an Australian-style coffee shop on the Lisburn Road and a venue in east Belfast.
The restaurateur added Belfast needed more international input.
"We want more Australians, because they are rocking the world with coffee at the moment," she said.
And the Cathedral Quarter needed more businesses.
"I think we need more media down there, and more retail such as a really good market," Ms Bricknell added.
"Media companies can come and set up and go out for breakfast meetings – just look at Google and how it will be transforming Kings Cross in London."
Hill Street Brasserie recently closed its doors, while top chef Niall McKenna has taken over the former Donegall Street/Commercial Court premises of Printers sandwich shop and restaurant.
Printers is to relocate to smaller premises around four doors up, while the James Street South owner puts his stamp on the old Printers.