Belfast Telegraph

Belfast's Chester Bar to get £200k revamp as new owner takes over

Sold: The Chester Bar
Sold: The Chester Bar
Emma Deighan

By Emma Deighan

The woman behind Muriel's bar and The Spaniard in Belfast city centre will complete the purchase of a long-established pub in the north of the city today.

Janine Kane, who also runs The Jeggy Nettle in Stranmillis and Panama City Garden and Cafe in the Linen Quarter, has purchased The Chester Bar and Restaurant on the Antrim Road from the Diamond Group.

She told the Belfast Telegraph she would be investing £200,000 initially in a staged revamp and while she wouldn't reveal how much the pub sold for, it is understood to be more than £1.5m.

It's the latest investment the publican has committed to this year. Recently Ms Kane filed a planning application to extend Muriel's on Church Lane into a neighbouring property, a former clothing alterations shop.

She told the Belfast Telegraph that she would put over £350,000 into the development which would see Muriel's double in size and boast a rooftop terrace.

That followed on from her £300,000 cash injection into the former House Bar in Stranmillis - which had a refurbishment and relaunched as The Jeggy Nettle - and the opening of the £300,000 "new concept" Panama City Garden and Cafe, on McClintock Street, creating 10 new jobs.

Now she will turn her attention to The Chester, which will be her furthest business interest from the city centre.

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The Chester has being operating as a pub for around 35 years. It was part of the Diamond Group portfolio which also includes Dukes at Queens Hotel, the Rusty Saddle on Howard Street and the Marine Court Hotel in Bangor.

Eamon Diamond, who owns the business, also sold off the company's Bellevue pub and restaurant, also on the Antrim Road, last year to Wolf Inns.

It is not thought that he will be selling any more of his businesses but instead will be "seeking out new opportunities", a source said.

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