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21st May 2019 in Business

The Ulster Sports Club in Cathedral Quarter has been relaunched as one of Belfast’s newest music venues by its owners, the Beannchor Group.

The hospitality company behind the Merchant Hotel bought the three-storey venue on High Street late last year.

The social club closed its doors after 91 years at the end of December.

The hospitality chain, which enjoys a strong presence in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, has embraced the former social club’s retro feel, turning it into a venue with “a heavy lean to the left-of-centre”.

The bar has undergone a soft opening in recent weeks ahead of its official launch, which is due to take place next week.

While Beannchor has left the exterior untouched, the interior has had a facelift, with a new-look front bar, lounge and upstairs.

It is understood that a beer garden is in the works.

Music has been placed front and centre of the pub’s offering, with a packed programme of bands and DJs booked for both the lounge and upstairs.

US singer-songwriter Howe Gelb has already performed at the venue as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

Gareth Neill, Manager of the Destination Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), is delighted with the investment.

“I’ve already been around a few times and really enjoyed the atmosphere. It’s completely different product and has already brought with it an eclectic mix of people which adds to the City’s blossoming night time economy.”

“It’s refreshing to see the building re-modelled and brought back into use. It’ll definitely have it’s own unique role to play in Cathedral Quarter,” he said.

The Ulster Sports Club joins an expanding list of Beannchor venues, including The Merchant and Bullitt hotels, Little Wing, Yardbird, The Dirty Onion, The National and The Hillside in Co Down.

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