Award-winning restaurateur Niall McKenna is expanding the renowned James Street South Group with the creation of two new restaurants in Belfast. Fifty-five full and part-time jobs will be created with the new eateries – one of which is scheduled to open as soon as next month.
Cast and Crew, located in a former bank premises opposite the iconic Titanic Belfast centre, will offer the James Street South Group signature menus of the finest, locally sourced seasonal produce available.
The 90- seater restaurant – which will be the first of its kind in the Titanic Quarter – is one of two new restaurants which to be opened by Niall in the city and will employ 25 staff.
The second, as yet unnamed premises on Belfast’s Donegall Quay will start service late next year, creating 30 new jobs in the city.
Niall, chef and owner of James Street South, The Bar+Grill and Hadskis, who was last year awarded the title of Tourism Hero by industry chiefs here, says the new ventures are a further endorsement of the strength of the hospitality industry here.
“We are committed to developing and sustaining Northern Ireland’s growing tourism offering, and this further investment represents our confidence in this expanding market.
“Belfast has a well-deserved reputation for food excellence and we are looking forward to building on this with two more establishments that will continue the James Street South ethos.
“We are dedicated to offering the finest locally produced seasonal food across all our restaurants and are thrilled to be able to extend the offering to Titanic Quarter and Donegall Quays.
“The new restaurants, coupled with our commitment to ensuring the next generation of hospitality excellence through our Apprentice Scheme, underline the work we’ve done over the years to showcase Belfast as a food destination for the hundreds of thousands of tourists who come here each year and the many visitors we hope to welcome in the future.”
Today’s announcement follows a landmark year for Niall and his team after James Street South was named Northern Ireland’s restaurant of the year in the 2015 Waitrose Good Food Guide, and Cathedral Quarter new-comer Hadskis made the list for the first time.
James Street South Bar + Grill was also awarded a much sought after Bib Gourmand in the official 2015 Michelin Guide – one of only three new awards in Northern Ireland.