Duke of York and Harp Bar closure highlight hospitality crisis
Belfast publican Willie Jack pictured at his pub, The Duke of York, in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Photo credit: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.
Belfast institutions Duke of York and the Harp Bar are to close indefinitely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact of restrictions imposed on the local hospitality sector, with 100 jobs potentially at risk.
‘It is with a heavy heart that we confirm that The Duke of York and Harp Bar will remain closed for the foreseeable future,’ reads a statement from owner Commercial Court Inns.
‘Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to find an economically viable way to reopen these iconic venues, which were built for convivial conversation, craic and live music in close quarters.
‘The time will come when these doors will reopen, and the lights will be turned back on. The craic and conversation will return and the reunion will be all the sweeter for the wait.’
Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster, said: “Sadly, this situation is indicative of the current trading environment and the real impact that Covid19 is having on the hospitality sector.
“The toll that this has taken on iconic bars such as the Duke of York and the Harp Bar speaks volumes for how deep trading restrictions are hurting. We are devastated for those employees who have been given this news and know that this will not have been an easy decision to make.”