The manager of popular Belfast bar Babel has described being “delighted” after the establishment was ranked as one of the top-50 rooftop bars in Europe.
Babel has been included at number 29 in Big 7 Travel’s list of places to sit and enjoy a cocktail or two, ranked between the Level 27 club in Warsaw and Forza Wine in London.
Conall Wolsey from the Beannchor Group which owns the hotel and bar complex said the recognition was a vote of confidence in what his team had been doing before the bar had to close earlier this year due to a fire.
With Bullitt Hotel set to reopen on Thursday following the March 29 blaze, Babel will have its reopening in October and Mr Wolsey hopes the list will prompt a renewed sense of energy in the bar.
“We were delighted to be included in the list, but unfortunately we had our fire and Babel is no longer Babel,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“Babel as it was and being included was a fantastic achievement and we have such a great food team and a great drinks team.
“It was a venue we were so proud of and we have enjoyed operating Babel over the years. The new establishment we open will have a similar format, but we are slightly changing a few things.”
The popular hospitality venue brought the city centre to a standstill in March, when a blaze broke out at its rooftop bar.
Sixty firefighters were involved in the operation to extinguish the flames, with eight fire appliances in attendance.
“We are doubling down on what was successful and the fire, while it was a huge disappointment, was a bit of an opportunity to press the reset button and look at what had and what had not worked,” Mr Wolsey added.
“Belfast mid-week could be a bit of a ghost town, but now the dynamics between working from home and work life balance has opened that up a bit more.
“We are noticing more spread mid-week and that is really positive for us going forward as we reopen.”
In the ranking, Big 7 Travel praised Babel for their “panoramic city views across Belfast” and highlighted their “creative shrub cocktails” which “use ingredients and garnishes inspired by its ‘living walls’, which are impressively lush and home to over 300 plants”.
The bar which came out on top of the list across Europe was the Salling Rooftop and the Roofgarden in Aarhus, Denmark.