High-end Dublin burger bar Bunsen to open in Belfast
by John Mulgrew
What the unit at Longbridge House - where Bunsen Burger will be based - could look like when completed
Belfast is set to get another top-end burger restaurant as a Dublin stalwart expands into Northern Ireland, it can be revealed. Bunsen is the brainchild of chef Tom Gleeson, a business and politics graduate.
The 32-year-old, who has worked in top restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, now has five restaurants in the Republic.
The chain now looks set to take on the ground floor of Longbridge House at Waring Street in Belfast city centre, which is owned by BJ Eastwood’s firm Wirefox.
It’s understood the company has been searching for a Belfast site for the last few months.
Architectural drawings show the restaurant, will seat around 70 diners.
Bunsen has four locations in Dublin and one in Cork. Now one of Dublin’s top burger restaurants, it has a simple menu of burgers, fries, soft drinks and beer.
The company, which has Gleeson as a director, was formed in December 2016.
Bunsen opened its first Dublin outlet at Wexford Street in 2013, followed by a second in the tourist magnet Temple Bar area.
The chain uses Black Aberdeen Angus beef and a mixture of cuts from the fore and hindquarters of the cow.
In a restaurant review of its Essex Street East restaurant, the Irish Independent said it produced a “seriously good (and good-quality) burger for a seriously low price”.
No one from Bunsen was available for comment.
It comes after a husband and wife team announced plans to open a high-end burger joint in Belfast creating up to 20 jobs.
Paul and Elaine Catterson are to bring their years of experience in fine dining and food trucks to Belfast’s Botanic Avenue with Tribal Burger.
The restaurant will focus on top quality, freshly ground beef from a range of cuts.
Mr Catterson says around £180,000 is being invested in the new business.
It will serve milkshakes and alcoholic drinks.
Mr Catterson said customers will normally pay between £8 and £10 for a meal.
Tribal and Bunsen will be competing with burger outlets including Pablo’s and Five Guys.
Five Guys opened its first Belfast restaurant at Victoria Square shopping centre shortly before Christmas in 2015.
And the siblings behind the business in Ireland said that it could open up at a further two locations.
The Desmond brothers, sons of Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond, brought the chain from the US to Ireland.
The franchise was four years in the making, from initial conversations with owners the Murell family.
Five Guys first launched in the US back in 1986.
Since then the company has grown to have more than 1,200 restaurants.