Belfast patisserie closes its doors but plans new concept next year
A patisserie in south Belfast has closed down after a change of management.
Miel et Moi and Miel et Vite on the Lisburn Road was run by the Bachus Group, which has now ended its lease on the building.
The firm also ran The Albany, a bar and restaurant beside Miel et Moi. The Albany closed around the end of October and reopened last Friday.
It is understood both are now under the management of JAR (IRE) Ltd, the properties' landlord and part of a wider business which had included drinks wholesaler Drinks Inc.
JAR said a new venture would open in Miel et Moi's old location.
Drinks Inc was founded by former owner Paul Camplisson in 2001 and has grown into one of the biggest independent drinks distributors in Ireland.
It is now owned by wholesale and retail giant Musgrave.
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Joris Minne, this newspaper's restaurant reviewer, said he was surprised to hear of the closure of Miel et Moi.
"Miel et Moi was very well received by the BT9 crowd when it opened," he explained.
"It was in front of the growing trend for patisseries, but perhaps its extension into other offers, ranging from breakfasts, cocktails and cake, lunches and dinner, blurred the brand.
"Identity of place is important because this determines the reason for a punter to go there.
"It may just be that the identity became too diluted."
Bachus Group runs approximately 12 venues, including Rita's, Filthy McNasty's and The Perch in Belfast.
Announcing the closure on Facebook, Miel et Moi said: "As part of our restructuring plans under our new management team, Miel et Moi will now close.
"We've an exciting and new concept coming in 2020. We can't wait to share it with you all.
"The decision to keep Miel closed was made as we would not be able to get the work we need to do on the venue done before Christmas and therefore we have decided to move bookings to the Albany.
"But as said above... big plans ahead for early 2020 so watch this space.
"We've hopefully replied to any existing bookings that had been made for Miel et Moi.
"If you don't think we've got back to you as yet, then please do drop us a line so we can follow up with you."
The Albany also announced its temporary closure on Facebook, telling customers there were plans to boost the venue and turn it into a "benchmark bar" for Northern Ireland.
The Bachus Group and JAR did not respond to requests for comment.