Popular Belfast restaurant undergoes £1m refurb
From left, back, Alan Reid, co-owner, SHU and Andy Bradley, McCues, and front, Brian McCann, co-owner, SHU and Julian Henry, manager.
SHU, one of Belfast’s most popular, long-established restaurants, has undertaken a £1m investment programme to refit, expand, rebrand and relaunch to celebrate its 20-year history.
The award-winning eatery originally opened in October 2000 and, since lockdown, the team has worked hard with local building firm McCue Fit Out to commence a complete redesign of the entire building, including expansion into a neighbouring property.
The new SHU, set for relaunch on Friday, October 9, will have three different style elements incorporated under one roof – SHU, The Upper House and Jul’s – with a dining experience and space to suit every taste and occasion.
Continuing to offer a lunch and dinner menu, patrons’ favourite SHU will remain on the main ground floor, with the bright and airy top floor extension becoming The Upper House designed for flexible private dining, while the atmospheric basement will be relaunched as Jul’s.
With an enhanced bar and dining space, Jul’s will have DJ performances on Friday and Saturday evenings, providing laidback beats to dine to, then, stepping up the tempo into later evening. The new Sunday afternoon offering will focus on live jazz played on the house piano, providing a laidback, relaxing and chilled vibe.
The Upper House will become a private dining space with two rooms: The Club Room and the Board Room, which have sliding doors between them allowing the space to become one larger room.
“We and the entire team, many of whom have been with us since the early days, are delighted to finally reach this point in our 20-year history where we are investing in the next chapter,” said Alan Reid, co-owner of SHU.
“This huge financial investment is testament to the quality of our food and hospitality, the hard work of our team and the loyalty of our guests throughout the years.
“We are confidently emerging from the pandemic lockdown, which has been the greatest-ever challenge to the local and global hospitality industry. We fully plan to come out stronger, brighter and even more confident.”
Brian McCann, head chef and co-owner of SHU, said: “This refit and expansion is a sign of the strength of our brand and the local hospitality sector in general.
“There is a real sense of anticipation about the relaunch as it marks some positive news for the local hospitality industry which has suffered so much this year.
“We look forward to getting back to business and giving our much-valued guests new experiences and memories as we approach our third decade in the city.”
Since launching SHU has scooped a clutch of prestigious awards for its innovative, modern French-inspired cuisine, including Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland at the National Restaurant Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Described by Tom Parker Bowles as ‘seriously good’, SHU currently holds two AA Rosettes and is listed in the Michelin Guide.