North Belfast pub's new owners to give it £250k refurbishment
A north Belfast pub is set to undergo a £250,000 revamp after being bought over by Wolf Inns.
The pub operating group has bought the Bellevue Arms - which first opened in 1937 - for an undisclosed sum of money and is now finalising plans to refurbish the restaurant and beer garden.
Managing director Andrew Gedge said he hopes to expand the reach of the Antrim Road business, which was extensively refurbished in 2016 by former owner Eamon Diamond.
"The Bellevue Arms is one of the best-known pubs in Ulster," he said.
"For generations the Diamond family and its dedicated team have welcomed locals and tourists alike, with outstanding food, drink and entertainment with a welcome second to none.
"We plan to build on the strong foundations already in place at the Bellevue Arms, and begin a refurbishment programme to further enhance the hospitality offering to the people of North Belfast and beyond."
The purchase of the pub and eatery - which employs 48 staff across its restaurant, deli and two bars - brings the total number of pubs in the Wolf Inns portfolio to eight.
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The group also owns the Hop House in Bangor, which was named Pub of Year in 2018 and now has a total of 172 staff on its payroll.
Mr Gedge said he expects to witness further growth for the group "as we continue to invest in our team and acquire new premises to further advance our leasing strategy".
Ulster Bank's associate director of corporate banking Andy Tew said the bank was proud to be able to help the venue maximise its potential.
"Ulster Bank is really pleased to have supported Wolf Inns in acquiring the Bellevue Arms to further strengthen its market position as one of Northern Ireland's leading pub operators," he said.
"With forward momentum brought to the table by Wolf Inns and a clear, but ambitious, growth plan, we look forward to seeing the venue maximise its potential under new management."
Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill said he wished the new owners well following the announcement.
The head of the organisation, which represents the pub and hotel trade in Northern Ireland, also welcomed the significant investment.
"It's great to see such a noteworthy investment and we wish the team every success in the roll-out of the renewed offer," he said.
"The hospitality sector is an important part of the economy and tourism - this major refurbishment is to be very much welcomed."