New outdoor Belfast venue to open post Covid

One of Belfast’s leading publicans has said the industry needs to urgently build confidence with customers, by transforming its venues, maximising its footprint to provide both a thriving indoor and outdoor experience if the City’s vibrant nightlife and café culture is to survive.
Pug Ugly Directors Paul Langsford and Colin DaleyPug Ugly Directors Paul Langsford and Colin Daley
Pug Ugly Directors Paul Langsford and Colin Daley

Mark Beirne, Director of Pug Ugly’s part of the Clover Group, made the comments as he announced a significant new addition to his Bedford Street venue by opening a 16,000 sq ft outdoor space adjacent to the site. The Bone Yard which opens on the July 23 has been designed to create an atmospheric outdoor entertainment environment while strictly adhering to the industry’s social distancing needs.

The long standing investor in the Belfast hospitality sector who has a reputation for transforming derelict venues in areas of low footfall into cutting edge boutique bars, has leased a large car park at the back of Pug Ugly’s to create The Bone Yard with its entrance directly onto Bedford street.

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According to Mark Beirne, the plans for the outdoor space, which he developed with Molson Coors and Brew Dog, will be new to Belfast creating a festival feel with food stalls, a 17m square stretch tent, converted shipping containers and outdoor toilets with ample space to ensure social distancing. Commenting he said, “I’ve been involved with the Belfast bar trade for 25 years and our sector has been on quite a journey since then. It has pivoted, changed and evolved many times before and that innovation and creative thinking is being put to the test once again as we seek to build a safe, thriving, fun and atmospheric city centre.”

“Our sector, at the most financially difficult of times, must work collaboratively to build confidence with customers by conducting a thorough review of our offerings, consider what we can do differently to ensure we provide memorable occasions in a safe and secure environment.

“The Health Minister and others have publicly given us the challenge to create an outdoor café culture to support the sector’s re-opening by safely building footfall and that is exactly what we are seeking to do at Pug’s with The Bone Yard and across the Clover Group. The on-going support of Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Chancellor this week, is most welcome, but we must see that support continue in the months ahead with local government also playing its role in supporting our city and town centres by expediting the planning processes at our venues which will help maintain employment and breathe life into back into our urban centres.”

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