Belfast Telegraph

High-end Chinese restaurant set to open in Belfast


By Michelle Weir

An upmarket Chinese restaurant is to open its doors at a landmark building in Belfast city centre later this year, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The two-storey eatery will be located at The Boat, a prominent £10m, 14-storey block overlooking the River Lagan.

An application for a provisional drinks licence for the premises has been made in court for an applicant, Lidan Yu, who has an address in Hildesheim, Germany.

Lidan Yu is also the name of the general manager of the high-end Dynastie Chinese/Mongolian restaurant in the city.

A spokesman for commercial property agents McKibbin confirmed a Chinese restaurant was to open on the site.

The owners of The Boat are listed as Harry and Deirdre Dougherty from Belfast.

9Yards Architecture, which has offices in Belfast and Carrickfergus, tweeted: "When you see 9yards' plans on display in the city centre, you know there's something exciting in store. Another successful liquor licence through court for a fantastic new licensed restaurant right on Custom House Square."

The Co Antrim company added: "Still a lot of work to be done, both on the drawing board and on site."

However, the architects have confirmed that the opening is likely to take place later this year.

The restaurant will be located in a 2,045sq ft unit at the site of the former Lifeboat Bar. One of Belfast's top restaurateurs Niall McKenna, who runs the James Street South restaurant and cookery school, had been the first person to sign up to the prestige development.

However, despite an announcement in 2008, Mr McKenna's involvement did not continue.

The Boat is a mixed-use development, with eight apartments which include two penthouses, both duplex, eight levels of office space and room for ground and first-floor restaurants.

Its architectural form was said to have been shaped in sympathy with its location at the edge of the River Lagan and Custom House Square and features distinctive coloured 'picture frames' and projecting balconies. The Boat was designed by Todd Architects.

Grafton Recruitment was the first commercial tenant at The Boat and still has more than one third of the total office space.

At the time Mr Dougherty said the building would house around 250 workers.

Launching the development in 2008, the then Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie said: "Innovative projects such as 'The Boat' have the potential to transform how people live, work and enjoy leisure time in Belfast."

Belfast Telegraph

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