Belfast Telegraph

Three new restaurants set to open in Belfast city centre

Exclusive by Lesley Houston

Epicures could be in for a range of exciting new menus with news that three new restaurants are set to open in Belfast city centre.

Workmen are currently fitting out a new restaurant at 46-50 Howard Street, in a unit formerly occupied by high-end menswear store, The Bureau.

It's understood the new eatery will be known as Flame though it's not clear when it will open.

Just a few doors down, at 56 Howard Street, in premises which once fitted out tall men in the High and Mighty store, will be the home of the eponymously named 'Howard Street'.

Construction only began last Saturday but a newly-registered company called Howard Street Limited applied for a liquor licence in August.

Fellow restaurateurs in Belfast took to Twitter to wish company directors Martin Murphy and Niall Davis the best of luck on their new venture.

Tony O'Neill, chef and co-owner of high-profile restaurants including Coppi and the Barking Dog, was among those wishing the new venture the best for "the new opening" expected to take place on October 25.

Around the corner at Great Victoria Street it's understood another new restaurant will replace the now defunct Bourbon restaurant and its successor, Restaurant Victoria. There were no clues on the name for the third eatery – within five minutes' walk of the new openings on Howard Street – but it's understood that a chef and financial backer have been secured. This latest wave of restaurants comes amid a healthy appetite among consumers for dining out in the city centre, also evidenced by plans for new venues in the city's Cathedral Quarter.

It also follows the demise of two formerly trendy establishments: firstly Paul Rankin's Cayenne at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, closed its doors amid flag protests and a bleak economy last March, seeing a reversal of fortunes for a chef once inextricably linked with the city's restaurant scene.

And Nick Price closed the doors at Nick's Warehouse in the Cathedral Quarter – although new restaurants from James Street South's Niall McKenna and Made in Belfast's Emma Bricknell are opening near the old Nick's.

Belfast Telegraph