Booming restaurant chain Made in Belfast is set to open its fourth destination outlet on the city’s Lisburn Road.
The £200,000 investment will create 20 jobs and is the latest in Made in Belfast’s commitment to growth.
Taking over the site previously occupied by La Bastille Made in South Belfast it comes just over 10 years since managing director Emma Bricknell opened her first restaurant in the city, Made In Belfast in Wellington Place.
With already more than 90 jobs created in the Wellington Place restaurant and the two Cathedral Quarter outlets, this new venture represents Emma’s faith in the city.
“Despite the political impasse the people of Belfast show remarkable resilience,” she said. “We see that people want a unique destination to dine and relax.
“We serve more than 180,000 meals per year and I believe Made in South Belfast will open up more possibilities for quality dining in our quirky interiors.
“South Belfast is an area we are excited to be part of. It’s very much a community with its own quirks and we are looking forward to the challenges and all the new faces we will be serving and getting to know.
“For me, the Lisburn Road is the King’s Road of Belfast and we can’t wait to add to the dining experience of locals and those visiting the area.”
The investment on the Lisburn Road will bring Made in Belfast commitment to the city top the £1m mark and will throw open its doors this coming summer.
And, Emma doesn’t intend to stop there; she has plans for further expansion in Belfast and beyond.
Following the opening of Made in Belfast at Wellington Place the first Cathedral Quarter restaurant in Talbot Street was opened in 2010 with the second restaurant in the area The Grill Made In Belfast in Hill Street opening in 2013.
With around 25 years’ experience in hospitality and business management, Emma led Made in Belfast through a series of challenges – recession, flag protests, and Christmas bomb threats, and credits their success to having a great team.
With Made in South Belfast Emma aims to strategically grow the company in a healthy and happy way for all staff over the next three to five years.
While Emma is keen to keep up with the latest industry trends, the original ethos of the business was always to deal with producers whose level of animal husbandry was very high, and whose produce was the best of quality, local where possible, and ethically and environmentally sourced.
“Sustainability is one of the intrinsic values of the business and forms the core of everything we do in our restaurants” she said.
In 2017 executive chef Stephen Loftus became a share-holding director after six years with the company.
The operations and business director said he was proud to be involved with the company’s expansion plans.
He added: “It’s a great time to start to expand, there’s a real buzz about the city at the moment and I’m delighted we can be part of that expansion.
“We have a fantastic team behind us who are working hard to help the business grow. Our people are the core of our business and I think that’s lead a lot of our success. The future is looking bright.”
Committed to local, seasonal produce, Stephen regularly spends time with local farmers and producers.
Made in Belfast’s clientele ranges from groups of students, tourists and professionals to couples and families, young and old. This diversity is reflected in the accolades awarded to the company, which include Northern Ireland’s most Sustainable Restaurant and Most Gay Friendly Restaurant at the Goscars.
Made in Belfast is also a favourite with well-known names due to their ‘no bragging’ policy. Customers are free to enjoy their food without being asked for autographs or selfies.
It has also become a well-known backdrop to popular shows such as The Fall, Come Dine with Me, and BBC 1’s News at 5.
The restaurant has been featured in many magazines including Olive, Ryan Air and Easyjet’s inflight publications, Time Out, and the Belfast Telegraph, and online on at Thrill List and Buzzfeed
Charity also begins at home for Made in Belfast, and they are sponsors for the Malone Ladies Rugby club, however they are also involved with the Smile Foundation, and Plan B who sponsor children in developing countries.
Again, environmental sustainability is reflected in their support of the Woodland Trust, who plant trees to offset customer’s carbon emissions.
By Jonathan Traynor, Excalibur Press