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Restaurant and cookery school aims to serve up 30 new posts

By Clare Weir

Around 30 jobs are to be created at a new restaurant and cookery school in Belfast when it opens next month.

The owners of James Street South are to open The Bar + Grill, a 60-seat, three-storey restaurant on the corner of James Street South and Brunswick Street, just feet away from its award-winning sister venue.

The owners are spending £300,000 on the project, with support from Ulster Bank. The location is the old site of Vico's nightclub.

Niall McKenna, the head chef and one of the co-owners, said the restaurant has been in the planning for many years and is set to open in early November.

"We have mixed old and new styles to help create an atmosphere that's fresh, casual and fun and our menu has been specially designed to include firm favourites but with a few specialities and surprises thrown in," he said.

"The food will be sourced from the seas and fields in and around Northern Ireland as we continue our commitment to support local producers and growers."

He added that the first floor will feature a private dining room which can seat up to 40 people and there will also be space for 40 people to watch cookery demonstrations, along with eight cooking stations for practical sessions or group bookings.

"We plan to use the cookery school to host corporate occasions, cookery demonstrations, wine tasting, food-themed launches and parties and team building events," he added.

"Groups of eight, or less, can also use the space for more intimate occasions like birthdays or even cookery competitions."

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