The Award-winning Potted Hen Bistro celebrated the opening of its new extension in style with a lavish cocktail party accompanied by delicious canapés and a smoking hot jazz trio.
On a balmy autumn evening guests, including Deputy Lord Mayor Tierna Cunningham and the Chairman of Belfast City Centre Management William McGivern, helped launch the new dining area with its large windows giving unrivalled views of Saint Anne’s Square.
They were joined by members of the media, local Cathedral Quarter businesses, loyal customers, contractors and representatives from the hospitality and tourism industry.
Family members of the owners, husband and wife team Dermot and Catherine Regan were also on hand to give their best wishes.
Access to the new section of the restaurant is via the beautiful new curved staircase or a large, roomy lift which can easily accommodate wheelchair users.
The new 50 seat addition to the popular Saint Anne’s Square eatery has created eight new jobs, increasing customer capacity from 75 to 125 and staff numbers from 25 to 33.
The sparkling wine and cocktails including a delicious strawberry sangria and peach Bellinis flowed into the night, while music was provided by three of the most talented musicians in the local jazz scene, Meilana Gillard (saxophone), John Leighton (piano) and Gareth Hughes (double bass).
The canapés included delicious duck risotto fritters and chicken liver parfait with red onion marmalade on tiny pieces of brioche and Salmon Tartare. The dessert was a deliciously creamy chocolate mousse on a homemade sable biscuit.
Head chef and owner Dermot Regan said he was very excited about the restaurant’s expansion.
“We are so pleased that people enjoy our food and that the restaurant has become an established part of the Cathedral Quarter social scene. We really needed to expand and the space above our restaurant was just perfect for this.
“The new area is light and airy, with big windows looking out over the Square and the MAC where customers can watch the world go by. We’ll be using this space not only to serve meals but as a bar area for people waiting for their tables.
“We absolutely love our location in St Anne’s Square – we have a seating area outside as well and during fine weather our customers love to dine al fresco under the beautiful colonnades in the square,” he said.
The Potted Hen was the first restaurant to move into the stylish new Saint Anne’s Square when it opened its doors in November 2010. It immediately became a key part of Belfast’s culinary scene and last year was voted the Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland and one of the top 100 restaurants in the UK in the annual Restaurant Magazine Awards.
Since it opened, Saint Anne’s Square has fast become one of the city’s top night-time destinations and the Potted Hen has grown in popularity with its superb food, inviting atmosphere and chic bistro-style interior.
Its sister restaurant in Newtownabbey, Oregano is equally popular, having been awarded the prestigious Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand for the past three years – the only restaurant in Northern Ireland to do so.
For more information about The Potted Hen visit www.thepottedhen.co.uk