“Granny Annies,” the brand operated by W.&R. Holdings, has confirmed details of an estimated £12 million investment in Derry, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.
Having purchased the former Wetherspoons and Ice Wharf pubs in the Diamond and Strand Road, the group has also secured the former Clarendon Bar, now to be renamed “The Tipsy Bird”, and the Belfray Country Inn Hotel, on the outskirts of the city.
It’s understood £4 million is to be invested in the iconic landmark building in the Diamond in addition to the ongoing multi-million refurbishment at the former Clarendon Bar site on Lower Clarendon Street.
The acquisition and refurbishment of the Belfray Country Inn Hotel and the Ice Wharf on Strand Road will bring the group’s total investment to approximately £12 million, making “Granny Annie’s” the largest pub and restaurant operator in the North West.
Commenting on the imminent opening of “Granny Annie’s” new Kitchen and Bar at the Diamond, the Group Area Manager, Andrew O’Doherty, said: “We are extremely excited about this particular landmark development which will lead to the creation of 80 new jobs for this prominent building which is steeped in rich history and has played an integral commercial role in the Diamond for many years.
“Furthermore, this will offset the loss of the existing smaller Post Office which we will integrate into the development over the coming months, as well as providing additional employment and also increased consumer choice,” he added.
“The regeneration of this area follows hot on the heels of other recent developments such as Bishop’s Gate Hotel and The Shipquay Boutique Hotels at a time when many economic observers are delivering a bleak forecast. However, when other city centre outlets are seeing shutters coming down and hoarding going up, it appears that Derry’s city centre is determined to buck the trend which can only be good news.
“We believe this new ‘Granny Annie’s’ Kitchen and Bar complex and the forthcoming ‘Tipsy Bird’ development, are important regeneration projects vital to Derry’s tourism economy. We want to provide the next generation of super pubs and ensure their customers receive a first-class service with a five-star experience including beverage, entertainment and food.”