Restaurant Profile October 2019: Café on the Square, Belfast
Kimberley Lavery, general manager, talks to HRNI
WHEN DID YOUR RESTAURANT OPEN?
October 5, 2019. Having built many restaurants over the years and the love for opening a new restaurant inspired me to open Café on the Square.
TELL US ABOUT THE SPACE YOU HAVE
We are located in the heart of Custom House Square as part of the Cathedral Quarter, based right beside Belfast City Centre, but fortunate enough to be based only a short five-minute walk away from the Titanic Quarter and SSE Arena. We aim for a relaxed, friendly, easy-going environment. Our staff are trained to provide a casual dining experience, with five-star service. Our restaurant décor is one of a kind in Belfast. We have a rustic, wooden, cooper theme going throughout the restaurant and even into the bathroom facilities.
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU?
We offer a range of options ranging from your expected Steaks, Chicken Burgers or Battered Haddock to our Chickpea & Coconut Curry, Firestarter Cubano or our famous Pork Belly Burnt bits. The inspiration behind our food is to make and serve food that customers know they already love, but to a standard so high they will have never eaten anything like it before. Our menu would change on a seasonal basis. We are about to launch our new Autumn Menu which consists of a lot of seasonal dishes catering to a varied of dietary needs. For example, our new menu is going to feature more options for vegetarians and vegans than we have ever done before.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO TO IMPROVE AND DRIVE YOUR MENU?
We run daily specials that change every day with the creative kitchen team, as well as being very active on social media. Our Instagram & Facebook pages are updated daily every day to inform our followers of what we’re running that day, along with any special deals or offers.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD SOURCING POLICY?
We source everything local to and from Belfast or the nearer area. For example, we serve Drop Hopper Coffee, which is local to Belfast and runs a store at St George’s Market.
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
We see a variety of customers come through our doors every day. From the everyday regulars coming for their daily coffee and guests staying at the Belfast Dream Apartments to the businessmen and women coming for their quick lunchtime break and tourists looking for somewhere to dine for a five-star meal in Belfast, we cater to all types of people.
HAVE YOU FACED ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES TO DATE?
The most recent challenge we had faced was the ChSq concerts arriving on the Square. We had been cornered off with limited access to our establishment and we had to get creative to keep the customers motivated to come to us. Lucky for us, our fantastic food and brilliant front-of-house team had provided such an amazing atmosphere that it didn’t stop people from coming to us; our customers were willing to find a way through all the closed off areas to come eat at our establishment.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR RESTAURANT DEVELOPING?
We have experimented with live music and sports. We have expanded our menus to provide a pre- and post-game menu for ticket holders of the Belfast Giants, and we are soon starting our very own Cinema Club with food and drinks offers also. We aim to be more than just a local Belfast eatery; we aim to make people want to come to our establishment to have a good time and enjoy themselves.
6-8 Ulster Street, Belfast
t: 028 90333819