Belfast Telegraph

Robinson Cleaver: Belfast landmark building's recipe for success

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

It used to be the ladies fashion floor – now it's the floor where fashionable ladies lunch.

A new restaurant has opened in one of Belfast's most famous buildings.

Robinson Cleaver, at the corner of Donegall Place and Donegall Square North, was home to the former department store of the same name, which opened in the late 19th century.

The new grab-and-go Urban Deli on the ground floor and The Terrace upstairs, where ladies fashions used to be, opened for business yesterday.

Robinson Cleaver's head of operations Andrew Dougan revealed the plans for the new eatery in the Belfast Telegraph in May.

"We are chuffed with how things are going," he said.

"It's been amazing chatting to ladies in for lunch who remember the store."

Andrew added: "People have made lots of assumption about what we are going to do here.

"We are about hearty, honest, proudly Northern Irish food that's fresh and full of flavour.

"And we are not trying to be pretentious, we want it to be a space anyone can enjoy, so hopefully our menu and prices reflects that.

"We are definitely not fine dining, we offer a very casual and relaxed eating environment."

Managing director Andy Watt said there is a "great buzz" about the new venue, which faces City Hall.

"So many people have said they are glad the building is being used again," he added.

One feature missing is Robinson Cleaver's famous grand sweeping staircase. It now resides in the home of Edward Enda Haughey, aka Baron Ballyedmond, one of Northern Ireland's richest men.

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