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Down restaurant builds on success with function room

By Rachel Martin

A restaurant based in a former livery yard, on the border of counties Armagh and Down is poised to take a slice of the wedding and events market after its owners unveiled a major expansion.

Sinton’s at the Bridge has opened a new 80-seater upstairs function room.

The Scarva business opened in 2012 and currently employs 30 staff. But its owners, husband and wife team Graeme and Julianne Morton, hope the expansion will drive demand and allow them to  hire even more people.

Julianne Morton said: “Over the years, we have been making small improvements to our facilities and felt the time was right to extend the space to enable us to feature prominently in what is a very competitive market.

“The new space will allow us to promote the restaurant as a truly unique wedding and conference facility.

“As demand grows we’ll have to take on additional staff. We have also updated the exterior of the restaurant, improved accessibility and resurfaced the car park.

“The industry is always changing, so we know we need to keep updating our menus and train more staff to ensure the continued success of the restaurant,” she said.

Building work took around six months to complete, and gives the restaurant a total capacity of 200.

Julianne’s grandfather James Sinton acquired the site in 1919 because of its proximity to the railway station which could be used to transport horses all over Ireland.

The yard was a popular meeting place for the community to buy and sell horses until Mr Sinton’s death in 1989.

Danske Bank Business Banking Manager Philip Melville said: “Graeme and Julianne have demonstrated a willingness to invest in their business in order to compete and to break into new markets.

Mr Melville added: “The hospitality sector is a key contributor to our economy and we were pleased to be able to support Sinton’s at the Bridge with their plans to grow the business.”

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