Belfast Telegraph

Restaurant finds permanent Home

By Margaret Canning

A one-time 'pop-up restaurant' in Belfast is set to become a permanent fixture on the city's dining scene.

Home today throws open its doors at 22 Wellington Place close to the City Hall after moving on from the old Aldens in the City in Callender Street.

Owner Andy Rea said he hoped the new arrival could capture tourists' imaginations as it will also feature the work of upcoming Northern Ireland artists.

"Basically we love the fact that the new restaurant is so close to the City Hall and between two tourist offices. There is growth happening across the board and we are only scratching the surface. We can do more. As far as tourists are concerned, they come here and are completely blown away by the hospitality and they can't believe the value for money in restaurants compared to the rest of Ireland."

Mr Rea said locating in a temporary spot for seven months had enabled it to test the market.

"We were able to try out the brand and build up a relationship with our bank, customers and suppliers."

The restaurateur said rates in the city centre were "extortionate" but said his new landlord was "an understanding guy".

"Rent is based on our turnover which helps us out. If we are really busy we won't mind paying more rent as the landlord will be getting a return on his belief on us."

Commercial property agent CBRE acted for the landlord.

Unlike its predecessor, the new Home is licensed. "To make money in the restaurant trade you need a drinks licence".

It is located in a former Replay clothes shop - and in keeping with the presence of 'upcycled' second-hand furniture in Home's original home, more recyling has taken place.

The zinc panels from the changing rooms have been used to create a bar.

The new restaurant has a deli takeaway sandwich for day time which will then serve tapas at night with space for around 40 casual diners. The rest of the venue has room for around 70 diners.