More than 40 new jobs are being created at a new cafe bar and bakery in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.
Some £700,000 is being ploughed in to the National Grande Cafe Bar, due to open in early September in the former National Bank building on High Street, and the artisan bakery and patisserie to be housed in the adjacent building.
A further announcement of up to 50 additional jobs is also expected in the autumn with the opening of a third new venue in the city by the Beannchor group, which already owns 50 hotels and pubs including The Merchant Hotel.
Bill Wolsey, managing director, said the hospitality industry is crucial to Northern Ireland's economy and will be one of the key drivers for sustainable economic growth here in the coming years.
"Ongoing investment in the sector is essential, however, if it is to grow and prosper to its full potential amid very challenging economic times," he said.
"Our latest investment of around £700,000 in these two new venues - adding to our major investment of over £16 million in the hospitality industry in recent years - will bring an economic boost not only to the Cathedral Quarter, but to the city centre and the wider hospitality industry as a whole. The creation of 42 new full-time and part-time jobs this summer and up to 50 new jobs later this year will come as good news to the industry amid ongoing job losses."
Beannchor has an annual turnover of approximately £20 million and directly employs 600 staff.
Its new cafe bar will offer classic dishes, coffees, craft beers, spirits and wines.
Elsewhere, Petra Wolsey claimed the new bakery and patisserie will be the first of its kind in Belfast.
"In creating this exciting new venture, we have taken what is a very old, much-loved tradition in Northern Ireland - the bakery - and added a modern, continental flair which will be completely new to the hospitality and retail sectors in Northern Ireland," she added.