Heatwave boost for Belfast's Linen Quarter hospitality

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With Northern Ireland basking in a long-lasting heatwave, hospitality businesses in Belfast’s Linen Quarter have been reporting a welcomed boost, largely as a result of the District’s recent investment in outdoor dining.

The surge comes at a crucial time as the hospitality sector faces ongoing financial challenges.

Chris McCracken, managing director of LQ BID, said: “We’re committed to transforming the Linen Quarter into Belfast’s premier destination. Our vision is to create a vibrant and dynamic area that rivals the appeal of our European counterparts, such as Manchester, London, and Amsterdam.

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“The investments made by these cities in their public realm has resulted in the creation of welcoming and lively outdoor spaces for residents and visitors. It’s our aspiration that our city is known for its exceptional public spaces, where people can come together, unwind, and enjoy the unique charm of Belfast and the Linen Quarter.

“By fostering a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, we aim to draw increased footfall to the district which will provide a significant boost to the local businesses and the thriving hospitality sector.”

Renowned for its vibrant hospitality scene, the Linen Quarter is home to some of Belfast’s most impressive outdoor venues including Trademarket, The Boneyard and The Perch.

FLAXX on Brunswick Street is a strong example of how al fresco hospitality transforms a city’s vibrancy and how investment in outdoor has the ability to transform how the public realm is used. Delivered by LQ BID in partnership with Department for Communities, Department for Infrastructure and Belfast City Council, the impressive 43-metre-long structure is seated outdoor hub which can hold around 250 people and offers food and drink. It also boasts a games area, complete with a pétanque court, whilst a performance area can host small concerts. It is managed by Bachus – the hospitality group behind the adjacent Sweet Afton.

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FLAXX is just one initiative led by LQ BID. In the last two years it has introduced three parklets, colourful new murals and vinyl wraps, and increased planting, to transform the District’s aesthetic and enhance enjoyment for those who live, work and visit the area which ultimately encourages more footfall for businesses.