Bar Profile February 2017 – The National, Belfast
Bronagh Bennett, General Manager of the National, Belfast, talks to HRNI...
Bronagh Bennett, General Manager of the National, Belfast
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAR
Located in the heart of the bustling Cathedral Quarter, The National and Sixty6 have a whiskey range that caters for all discerning drinkers. The National is proud of its Irish whiskey heritage as can be seen by the large Jameson branding in the back garden and broad range of Irish whiskeys available. The friendly staff will always be happy to have the craic and recommend a good dram! Customers can enjoy the finest of whiskeys in the beautiful surroundings of the back garden or warm up by the fire in our gentleman’s club style cocktail bar.
WHAT ARE THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS/INITIATIVES TO DRIVE SALES IN YOUR BAR?
I’m a firm believer in our staff being the key to driving sales and return custom. We do regular training sessions with all staff across our entire product range and have introduced an incentive scheme which really creates friendly competition between the staff and encourages them to promote our full range to customers.
WHAT MAKES IT AN IRISH WHISKEY BAR?
All you need to do to see that we’re an Irish Whiskey bar is look behind the counter. Our whiskey range adorns the majority of the back bar and we have a large display of Jameson bottles on show. Our back garden has a large Jameson mural on the wall and a branded awning so anyone calling in can easily see they’ll be in safe hands if they’re looking for a nice whiskey. Irish whiskey has a large presence on our drinks list and also features in our cocktails.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST-SELLING BRANDS, AND PERSONAL FAVOURITES, IN THE IRISH WHISKEY CATEGORY?
Our best selling brand would be the more high volume whiskey, so Jameson, as it is in one of our biggest selling cocktails but also as we are such a busy bar the Jameson Ginger & Lime serve has become such a popular brand call from customers. Black Barrel and Caskmates have also become very popular with our clientele who are developing their palates and eager to try something a little different.
It’s hard for me to pick a favourite as I’m such a whiskey enthusiast but I have to say my new personal favourite would be Redbreast Lustau. You just can’t beat the creamy mouthfeel you get from a single pot still whiskey and I just love the balance between the sweetness of the sherry finish and the intial nutty/dried fruit taste.