Major investment in a Co Armagh bar complex dating back more than 150 years has been welcomed as a ringing endorsement of the region’s hospitality trade.
McConville’s in Portadown has been a fixture in the town since the 1860s, drawing in generations of local punters and visitors alike.
The McConville family have safeguarded the original fixtures and fittings throughout its history, and it remains one of the few bars to maintain its authentic snugs, moulded ceilings and etched windows.
The woodwork within the listed building is also said to have been replicated from that used on the Titanic.
Now current proprietor Andy Robinson has ensured the much-loved community pub’s future is also in safe hands, putting the finishing touches to a £300,000 refurbishment of the adjoining Ma Berry’s which has seen the venue completely transformed.
Andy said: “McConville’s is part of the very fabric of Portadown and the name of the bar is known right across Northern Ireland.
“We are so proud of its rich history and heritage, and its place in the heart of local people.
“I’m delighted that we are adding another string to McConville’s bow with the official opening of Ma Berry’s new 3,000 foot extension.
“It will offer something completely different to the area.
“It is completely modern, stylish and will have a fantastic vibe about it.
“The surroundings and the entertainment on offer are second to none.
“I love this area and I am passionate about investing locally and creating local jobs.
“I’m hugely excited ahead of the official opening of Ma Berry’s and I look forward to welcoming the people of Portadown and our neighbours along to enjoy it.”
Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster, welcomed the investment.
He said: “Andy and his team are to be praised and congratulated for their vision and commitment to our hospitality industry.
“Bars, clubs and restaurants across Northern Ireland have endured a hugely challenging period in recent years. They are crucial to our economy in terms of jobs, economic growth, tourism, and are so important to the communities in which we live.
“The confidence to invest in Ma Berry’s, part of McConville’s, is an excellent endorsement in our industry. I wish everybody involved in this venture the very best and look forward to toasting their official opening soon.”
The official opening takes place at 5pm on Friday 10 May. For more information, please see Ma Berry’s on Facebook.