The latest venture by the Beannchor Group opens this week and we popped in for another sneak peek ahead of the launch night.
The new bar and restaurant complex on Hill Street, have taken over a four-storey listed building dating back to the 18th century.
The ground floor is a live music venue called The Dirty Onion and upstairs is a free-range rotisserie chicken restaurant, Yard Bird.
Dating back to 1780, the building was used as a bonded spirit warehouse from 1921. It was known locally as ‘STACK N’ – a reference to its position on the north side of Waring Street and bears a giant red painted ‘N’ on its brick façade.
On arrival at the complex you will question if it’s a finished product as the beer garden is framed with a distinctive wooden frame. It looks like an unfinished building!
Inside it’s all wooden beams, original brick walls and stripped back woodwork. In total contrast to the modern stripped back look of the National, this complex looks much more old and authentic with lots of nods to its history.
A partnership with Jameson Irish Whiskey will showcase the heritage of the building further – paying homage to the tens of thousands of Jameson barrels and crates that passed through the building, which was operated by Edward Dillon Bonders [now a subsidiary of Irish Distillers/Dillon Bass] until 1991.
A modern take on a traditional Irish pub, The Dirty Onion’s novel partnership with multi-award winning cultural centre, An Droichead will deliver a varied music programme each week.
From bodhrán lessons to live Bluegrass and the weekly meeting of Belfast Harpist’s Club, the venue will see established musicians sit alongside amateurs to reignite an inclusive culture of traditional music in Belfast city centre.
Upstairs the Yard Bird restaurant will serve local free-range rotisserie chicken and although we didn’t get the opportunity to taste any food on this occasion, the smell of the food being prepared for tonight’s launch was a delight! Instant hunger!
The whole complex feels original and authentic. And I imagine we’ll be heading back for some rotisserie chicken very soon!
Another great addition to the Cathedral Quarter.
The Dirty Onion and Yard Bird follows the opening of high-end artisan bakery, Patisserie Mimi earlier in November and its neighbour, The National Grande Café Bar, which launched in September.
For further information, find The Dirty Onion on Facebook and Twitter.