Emir and Calvin Holohan; Holohans Pantry with Harry McDaid; UCIT. Picture: Elaine Hill
Emir and Calvin Holohan; Holohans Pantry with Harry McDaid; UCIT. Picture: Elaine Hill

 Belfast-based Holohans is set to open a second restaurant in Belfast following a £100,000 investment that will create 12 new jobs in year one.  The new restaurant will be known as Holohans Pantry, situated in the Queen’s Quarter.  A £15,000 investment was secured from the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund (the Fund) to help fit out the restaurant.

The Fund is managed by Ulster Community Investment plc (UCI) on behalf of Invest Northern Ireland. UCI is a subsidiary of social finance organisation Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT).

The highly successful Holohans at the Barge, situated at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, opened in November 2013.  The restaurant is a family run business which prides itself on using local produce and updating classic Irish cuisines with a modern twist.  The family has decided to open a second restaurant because of growing demand from customers and the success of the Barge.

Calvin Holohan, Restaurant Manager at Holohans commented: “Our first restaurant has been so successful that we’re having to turn customers away.  It has created a real buzz and there is the demand for us to open a second outlet.

“The Queen’s Quarter area is an ideal location due to its proximity to Queens University and high footfall.  It’s a well-known spot with a lot of good restaurants but we feel we offer something different that sets us apart.

Mr Holohan added: “The loan from The Small Business Loan Fund has helped us to purchase all the necessary kitchen equipment as well as fully furnish the restaurant.”

Emir Holohan, Head of Marketing said: “We want to build on our two restaurants and create a framework that could be replicated to open additional outlets, not just in Belfast but across Northern Ireland.  We are also looking at developing a private function room targeting corporate events, weddings and private events.

“The food manufacturing sector is another area we are currently looking at for next year.  Our brand name is well known and we feel there is a gap in the market for us to create our own products.”

Holohans Pantry, University Road

Chief Executive of UCIT, Harry McDaid, commented: “The Holohans are precisely the type of management team that the NI Small Business Loan Fund is keen to invest in.  They have researched and understand their market, delivering a differentiated product which consistently fulfils the high expectations of their patrons. The Hospitality sector is recognised as one of the most challenging to succeed in but Holohans have demonstrated their competency to do so.

“Belfast is thriving once again and the Hospitality sector has led the way. Holohans have invested their experience and capital and the NI Small Business Loan Fund is proud to have supported them.”

The Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund provides access to finance for small businesses, sole traders and partnerships which are keen to develop their business, but find it difficult to access funding through traditional sources. Those interested in finding out more about the Fund can visit www.nisblf.com

Holohans Pantry, University Road

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