Refurbishment to give Belfast’s oldest tavern new look

Pictured in White's Tavern are the Clover Group's Andrew Maxwell, Paul Langsford, Jim Conlon and Mark Beirne.
Pictured in White's Tavern are the Clover Group's Andrew Maxwell, Paul Langsford, Jim Conlon and Mark Beirne.
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A refurbishment plan for Belfast’s oldest tavern has been unveiled by the recently formed Clover Group.

Thirty new jobs are set to be created at White’s which dates back to the 1600s.

Clover has outlined ambitious plans to rejuvenate a number of Belfast bars and the announcement that it is breathing new life into the city’s oldest tavern follows the group’s opening of Margot’s, in Donegall Square East, in April with Fountain Lane set to reopen its doors next week, following a £1m refurbishment.

White’s Tavern will maintain its historic authenticity, with Clover set to refurbish the venue in a way that maintains the integrity of the original tavern complete with bar counter from the 17th century enabling traditional beer pouring techniques.

Former head chef at Deane’s Simon Toye will lead the food offering with an Irish inspired menu in the Oyster Room, the new bar restaurant on the first floor.

The plans for the venue will also include the revitalisation of the outdoor area including Winecellar Entry bringing vibrancy to the bar’s vicinity within the city centre with performances planned with talented local and international musicians.

Mark Beirne, Clover Group said, “White’s Tavern is one of Belfast’s most important bars, not only in terms of its rich history and the long standing contribution it has made to the fabric of our city but also the opportunity it presents, for us as the Clover Group, to shine an exciting new light on this outstanding venue and ensure it is cherished by future generations.

“White’s Tavern is very unique, and we are maintaining and enhancing the integrity of its interior with the highest quality food and traditional music offering in a way that recognises our past and will celebrate our future.”

Graham O’Donnell, of O’Donnell O’Neill Design, who are refurbishing the interior and exterior facade added, “New design enhancements for White’s Tavern are treated sensitively and are set out to enhance the Taverns authentic traditional interior and story.

The ground floor bar counter has been extended slightly and lowered to a height in keeping with a bygone era and to create less of a barrier between the Bar Tender and the Customer with under counter Guinness casks having been cleverly designed into the bar counter to ensure that White’s Tavern has the shortest possible beer line runs in the city.

Mark Beirne is one of the entrepreneurs that formed Clover which also includes Andrew Maxwell, Paul Langsford and Jim Conlon who have been behind leading Belfast venues including Henry’s, The Jailhouse, Pug Ugly’s, Filthy McNasty’s, Rita’s, Sweet Afton and The Perch.