Twenty-five new jobs are to be created after the award-winning Armagh restaurant Uluru Bar & Grill announced today it is to relocate into the Emersons store which is expected to open its doors later this year.
The restaurant, which is currently located in Market Street, Armagh, has won a string of awards including Restaurant Association of Ireland ‘best restaurant’ and ‘best wine experience’ for county Armagh.
It has also been mentioned in The Michelin Guide 2014/15 and is the only restaurant to be listed in The Good Food Guide 2015 for County Armagh.
The latest announcement in the works programme includes the creation of 25 new jobs including chefs and front of house staff and is the last piece of the jigsaw in the £2 million high street investment project.
Dean Coppard, crowned ‘International and Ethnic Chef of the Year’, opened the restaurant in 2005 with his wife Sara and has built its reputation as being one of the most unique eating houses in Northern Ireland.
Speaking about the relocation, Dean said: “Our customers mean the world to us. We love that they keep coming back to us for food cooked with our Australian twist, good wines, beers and our all round hospitality.
“Demand for more space and an increase in our customer base means we must cater for our customers’ needs. All our efforts, from sourcing local food from local suppliers, developing our cooking techniques, to enhancing our menu offerings and improving on our capacity to suit everyone, will enhance the experience for all.
“Our new concept has evolved from the original Uluru restaurant. With our love of food and our added capacity we will be able to provide a more varied offering for all diners from couples, small groups, families and larger groups, including our corporate customers, while keeping our award winning service and innovative style of cuisine.
“This is an extremely exciting development for the high street and we are delighted to be a part of it.” Gavin Emerson, owner of Emersons supermarket, said.
“Emersons has a very special story to tell and this reinvestment in our high street is the next chapter. We are totally committed to serving the people in Armagh city and district as we have done so for 125 years.
“People will be able to access car parking facilities, a range of Post Office services, a varied menu in Uluru offering for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as doing their weekly or daily shop, all under the one roof and right in the centre of the town.
“For generations, the Emersons family been encouraging the people of Armagh to support local businesses. We look forward to welcoming our existing and new customers through the doors.”
The opening date for Uluru at Emersons is yet to be confirmed. The announcement of the Post Office opening date is expected in the next few weeks. Armagh’s award-winning Uluru Restaurant is relocating to Emerson’s Supermarket.
The move follows the recent application by the supermarket to open a new bar/restaurant at Market Street.
Just last weekend we exclusively revealed that planning approval had been granted for the development, an application for which had been submitted in July.
Earlier today, Dean hinted at the move on Twitter, saying: “Monday! Working behind the scenes to enhance the service we offer. Bar and Grill cooking! What’s cooking? More than you think! #Uluru.”
He then posted a picture saying: “White tiles are my favourite.” When quizzed by several of his followers, Dean responded with “All will be revealed.”
Work continues on the expansion to the supermarket and with the planning application approved it is expected that the move could only be a number of months away.
The new licensed restaurant development is to be constructed on two floors and the plans include a lift to allow for access.
Located at 3-5 Market Street, it is in the old Walkers store, which closed last year, and will involve the conversion of previous office accommodation.
There were no objections raised to the planning application and all neighbouring businesses had been notified of the proposals.
There were no objections either from Roads Service or environmental health officials.
The application, as given in a professional planning report, refers to “the creation of a bar/restaurant on both the ground and second floor”.
It also states: “This proposal would enhance the area and be in keeping with the Conservation Area.”
The development will be an area that already has many other such facilities, including Embers, which itself has undergone renovations just last week, and Bagel Bean, Rumour and the recently reopened Market Place Theatre Bar & Bistro.
The family-run Emersons business is one of Armagh’s biggest and most popular retail employers. It was founded in 1889 by HA Armstrong. It is now under management by the fourth generation of the Emerson family, as HA Emerson’s son, Newton, subsequently took over, and then his son Henry, after he.
Today the day-to-day running of the store is in Henry’s son Gavin’s hands and this major expansion and branching out will ensure the tradition lives on for many more years to come.
It will be a true winning combination.
It was in August that Armagh I revealed that the Uluru Bistro had been selected for inclusion in the exclusive Waitrose Good Food Guide 2015.
The city centre restaurant prides itself on its finest fayre and is hugely popular with both locals and visitors alike. Specialising in Australian cuisine, Uluru, based at 16 Market Street in Armagh, was congratulated by the Waitrose Good Food Guide for the “commendable achievement” in being included.
Selections for the UK’s best-selling restaurant guide are based on reader recommendations and anonymous inspections by experts. It is not possible to apply to be in the guide or to pay for the privilege, meaning Uluru really does stand out among the elite.
It is that experience, quality and professionalism that the Uluru team will be bringing to the Emersons restaurant when it is ready to The Good Food Guide is the UK’s bestselling restaurant guide.
First published in 1951, it has, since that time, been reviewing and writing about restaurants, pubs and cafés, bringing together only the best places to eat out.
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