McHughs Bar and Restaurant
29-31 Queen’s Square, Belfast
Originally the commercial centre of the city, the area around McHugh's has been the scene of many historical events. It marked the landing point for the royal visit in 1849 and played stage to the rise of the labour movement with the historic Dockers Strike of 1907 when Jim Larkin addressed crowds of up to 20,000 in the Square from the steps of the Custom House. These steps became known as 'Speaker's Corner' and a statue there commemorates the orator and his cause.
McHugh's has silently witnessed the rise, decline and recent renaissance of the great city of Belfast. From mass emigration to more recent immigration; the tremendous speed of Belfast's industrial and dock growth, the destruction of many neighbouring buildings in the blitz of 1941, the sad decline of the Lagan, the docks and many industries after World War II and three decades of trouble through to the peaceful present day.
Now, a grade 'A' listed building, the old McHugh's Bar has been sympathetically restored to its Georgian splendour using historically correct materials and techniques. The renovation revealed that the interior had undergone many transformations through its life and the restoration to its original condition took eighteen months. Early elements and features have been retained; some of the original handmade bricks have been left exposed on the first floor for display purposes, timber-frame partitions with brick infill, oak-pegged trusses and the original staircase have all been salvaged.
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Reviewed 03rd February 2015 (visited 27 December 2014 )
We stumbled upon this place after being turned away from a few places on a very busy and cold nite in Belfast and all I can say is thank god the other places wwere full. The restaurant above the bar was lively but not too busy we had a lovely table by the window. I had a seafood medley to start which was delicious with a white sauce it was not too filling just nice. We both had steak on the stone which is a great idea if you know how to cook it the waitress made sure we did and was very helpful. The champ/mash and bushmills sauce complimented these lovely. Our bill was £86 which might seem a bit expensive for pub grub but it was well worth it and this included a bottle of really nice red wine. Next time were in Belfast I will be seeking this out again.