Northern Irish hospitality group, Beannchor, has announced a £500,000 investment that will transform The Cloth Ear bar and create 10 new jobs.
The owners of the bar, which is part of The Merchant Hotel in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, have described the evolution of the venue as a “traditional Irish Victorian pub, reimagined”.
The venue also has an ambition to “reintroduce the gentle art of conversation”. With a stripped back entertainment policy, with no live music and TVs, the venue will encourage patrons to converse through a series of events and initiatives.
All diners will be encouraged to take a ‘digital detox’ and will be invited to place their phones in a box on the table, with forfeits decided amongst guests. The bar has also developed a range of bespoke conversation starter beer mats, with questions and probes.
Following the refurbishment, customers will see a total transformation to the interior of the bar, which will be a modern interpretation of an Irish Victorian pub. Featuring a blue colour scheme, salvaged floors laid in a herringbone pattern, an ornate ceiling and a reclaimed Victorian bar, the stylish space is set to be “warm and inviting” and create a “comfortable” environment.
The Cloth Ear will serve up an all-day menu of traditional pub grub with a twist, alongside an Irish Gin serve menu; an expanded range of beers from across Ireland; a range of ‘Hoptails’; cocktails made using beer; and an “ever-changing” wine list, with selected wines by the keg.
The bar will reopen to the public on Friday 12 April.
Conall Wolsey, director of Beannchor, said: “Looking at society and how disconnected we are, we felt there was a gap in the market for a space where people can truly come and connect with each other. Our customers have always enjoyed the more relaxed style of The Cloth Ear and this repositioning and evolution of the venue is focused on creating a warm, welcoming space that people can come and converse with each other.”