Kelly’s Complex in Portrush has been one of the most popular holiday park destinations and iconic nightclubs in the UK and Ireland for over five decades, recently its owner, Peter Wilson, was recognised with the highly coveted title of Entrepreneur of the Year at the prestigious Licensed & Catering News Awards.
Peter says the business as it is today developed almost “like a Tardis” with bits added here and there as time went on creating unique nooks for visitors to relax in which today gives Kellys such unique character.
“We are continually investing – every year there is something new in the Complex.
“March of this year saw us invest £400K into the development and launch of our new bar and lounge, The Stubborn Stag and the Pizza Library, an Italian-themed, 56 seater family restaurant, complementing our Deerstalker Bar & Bistro. The Complex now has a capacity of around 120 family covers, which puts us in a position to compete comfortably with the growing array of quality restaurants in the area, all of which are helping to drive up standards and expectation among consumers.
“The last two years have also seen us put our entire reputation and a lot of capital at stake to host something that had never been done in Northern Ireland before – the hugely successful Lush! Classical events in partnership with the Ulster Orchestra. In year one we sold out of our 5,000 person capacity and year two saw us double that with over 10,000 revellers in the SSE Arena. This has further evolved to us hosting the event in Ebrington Square in Derry-Londonderry in July and again in October in the SSE Arena – both of which are nearing sell-out stage.
Peter concluded: “To win this award following two very busy, stressful but brilliant years is just the cherry on the cake.”
The Licensed & Catering Awards are held annually and celebrate the very best in the hospitality and tourism industry. Attended by more than 450 guests, the event is organised by leading local publication, Licensed & Catering News (LCN).
Bill Penton, awards organiser, said: “Most people know just how critical entrepreneurs are to economic success. Flair and creativity are also essential elements these days in the success of any hospitality venture.
“We selected Peter Wilson for the inaugural year of this award because we felt that the vigour which he has brought to the task of continuing the Kelly family’s legacy at this iconic north coast venue has been central to its continued success.
“He is conscious of his responsibility at Kelly’s and thoughtful but determined in the manner in which he has gone about continuing the development of this tremendous venue.
“I’d like to congratulate him and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Visit https://kellysportrush.co.uk for further details on the business.