Horatio Group acquires Northern Whig
Stephen Magorrian, Managing Director of the Horatio Group
£2m investment in one of Belfast’s landmark properties creates 15 new jobs
The iconic Northern Whig, situated on Bridge Street, in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, has been acquired by the Horatio Group with a further £300,000 set to be spent on a major refurbishment of the venue resulting in a gross spend exceeding £2m.
Currently employing 32 staff, the Northern Whig will undergo a complete transformation, which will take place over the next four weeks, and a further 15 full and part-time jobs will be created as a result of the investment.
Working with interior architect, Chris McCreedy of Chris McCreedy Design, the majority of the furniture and joinery work is being sourced locally and the revamp will see the new look Northern Whig open its doors towards the end of April.
Commenting on the acquisition and investment, Stephen Magorrian, Managing Director of the Horatio Group says: “The Northern Whig has been one of our anchor properties for many years, and following a period of leasing the venue from its previous landlords, we’re delighted to have finally purchased the Whig.
“Spanning over 4,000 sq ft., there’s huge potential for the venue. We’re planning to maximise its usage by creating a more relaxed and intimate venue, and we’ll be showcasing an entirely new food and drinks offering, that will be amongst the best in Belfast.”
This latest acquisition for the Horatio Group follows a period of transition for the company, and it’s the fourth property which the Group will own and operate outright. Other venues in the Horatio portfolio include Horatio Todds in Ballyhackamore; Denvir’s Coaching Inn in Downpatrick and Molly Browns in Newtownards.
The new look Whig will be managed by Gerard Keaney, with Rick Orr at the helm in the kitchen as Head Chef.
Lorraine Ormsby, Finance Director of the Horatio Group adds: “This is our single biggest investment in a property, and one which we’re confident will cement the Northern Whig’s reputation as a premier venue in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.
“The Cathedral Quarter is now the heart of Belfast’s social and cultural scene, and with the addition of the Ulster University campus, opening in 2018, we’re expecting the area to become even more buoyant mid-week.”
Open seven days per week, the Northern Whig will offer brunch, casual dining, small plates, contemporary gastro choices and a more formal dining option, in addition to a huge selection of premium wines, spirits, beers and cocktails. Entertainment will run from Wednesday – Sunday weekly.
The Northern Whig closed on Sunday for refurbishment to commence. To follow the Northern Whig’s progress, see www.facebook.com/NorthernWhig