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Northern Ireland’s leading hospitality group, Beannchor has announced a £500,000 investment that will transform The Cloth Ear and create 10 new jobs. The owners of the popular bar, which is part of The Merchant Hotel in Belfast’s bustling Cathedral Quarter, have described the evolution of the venue as a ‘traditional Irish Victorian pub, reimagined.’

Following the significant refurbishment, customers will see a total transformation to the interior of the bar, which will be a modern interpretation of an Irish Victorian pub. Featuring a bold blue colour scheme, salvaged floors laid in a herringbone pattern, an ornate ceiling and a reclaimed Victorian bar, the stylish space will be warm and inviting, creating a comfortable environment.

But perhaps the biggest difference will be the venue’s ambition to ‘reintroduce the gentle art of conversation.’ In an age where technology and entertainment reign, The Cloth Ear will help people to reconnect and engage with each other.

With a stripped back entertainment policy, with no live music and TVs, the venue will encourage patrons to converse through a series of events and initiatives. All diners will be encouraged to take a ‘digital detox’ and will be invited to place their phones in a box on the table, with forfeits decided amongst guests for those unable to resist the temptation. The bar has also developed a range of bespoke conversation starter beer mats, with questions and probes to help get the conversation started.

Commenting on the announcement, Conall Wolsey, director, Beannchor said: “Looking at society and how disconnected we are, we felt there was a gap in the market for a space where people can truly come and connect with each other. Our customers have always enjoyed the more relaxed style of The Cloth Ear and this repositioning and evolution of the venue is focused on creating a warm, welcoming space that people can come and converse with each other.”

The Cloth Ear will serve up an all-day menu of traditional pub grub with a classic twist, alongside an Irish Gin serve menu; an expanded range of beers from across Ireland; a range of ‘Hoptails’; cocktails made using beer; and an ever-changing wine list, with selected wines by the keg.

The Cloth Ear will reopen to the public on Friday 12th April, following its significant refurbishment. In the meantime, a special peephole in the side window of the building on Skipper Street, gives people a sneak peek of what’s to come.

Join the conversation and follow The Cloth Ear on Instagram, @theclothear, Twitter, @theclothear and Facebook @clothear using the hashtag, #starttheconversation

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