Belfast Telegraph

Speciality coffee shop expanding to meet growing demand in Northern Ireland

By Jamie Stinson

Coffee culture has exploded in Northern Ireland over the last 12 months.

Coleraine cafe Lost and Found has position itself at the forefront of the rise in popularity of speciality coffee shops.

The Queen Street coffee shop - which was once the site of Moody's grocery store - is the work of two couples, Dave and Emily Lynas, and Dan and Kathleen Hutchinson.

The four have now announced that the cafe, which celebrated its first birthday last month, is doubling in size by opening upstairs to meet the growing demands of coffee culture and the North Coast's summer season.

Mr Lynas said that customers were travelling from all over Northern Ireland to try out the cafe, so that it has had to expand.

He said: "A big part of it was we had outgrown the space. We find at the weekends we're just rammed.

"We have customers driving up from Belfast a lot, and we want to be able to cater for them."

Capacity in the cafe will double from 35 to 70.

Mr Lynas said: "The nature of where we are on the North Coast is a totally seasonal thing.

"Right now in the winter months our downstairs is probably the correct capacity for the town, but as soon as March and decent weather begins there is a whole influx of people."

The coffee shop can now rent out upstairs for private functions and its own coffee-related events.

Architecture firm Oscar and Oscar was brought in to design upstairs after their work on the lower part of the building.

The duo, who specialise in reclamation work, has also worked on Belfast restaurants Howard Street and OX, and Harry's Shack on Portstewart Strand. The upstairs has also been made over with furniture reclaimed from University College Dublin - the downstairs already features tables from the university.

Mr Lynas said: "They closed three or four lecture theatres and Oscar & Oscar got most of the gear.

"It's beautifully aged pine shelving, which has worked out really well.

"Then the tables will be made from the same, old reclaimed lecture benches."

The upstairs will also feature larger tables seating eight or nine people in order to lend a feeling of community to the space.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular