Press Up Hospitality looking to bring Dean hotel brand to Belfast

14 February 2023 by
Press Up Hospitality looking to bring Dean hotel brand to Belfast

Press Up Hospitality Group is hoping to bring its Dean hotel brand to Belfast, subject to planning permission from the city council.

The company has submitted proposals to turn 34-44 Bedford Street and 4-6 Clarence Street into a 91-bedroom boutique hotel. The venue would also include Sophie's Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace, and a 3x13m rooftop pool. The applicant is named as Bedford Way, which is controlled by Oakmount, a sister company to Press Up Group.

TODD architects has been appointed to work on the Ulster Hall-adjacent site on Bedford Street, built around 1865 and historically classed as the beginning of the city's linen quarter.

The Dean hotel brand has locations in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The first opened in Dublin in November 2014 as part of a terrace of protected Georgian townhouses. Each Dean location has a Sophie's Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace, Power gym, and an art collection dedicated to local artists.

Jessica Carlyle-Clarke, head of business development and new opportunities UK at Oakmount, said: "We are delighted to move forward with plans to bring the Dean to Belfast – a capital city that is as vibrant and fresh as the brand itself. We are all about celebrating iconic cities, creating beautiful spaces within them that complement old and new. This site is one of cultural significance, right next to the Ulster Hall, a venue that speaks to Belfast's built heritage. This is an exciting time for the group as it looks to develop its footprint across the UK and Ireland."

The three-storey, 19th-century building has been home to businesses including Larry's Piano Bar and Deanes Deli and currently houses the Harlem Café. While planning permission is being sought, the building's current owners will continue to accommodate existing tenants "for as long as possible".

Neil McShane, of property consultants INPRIO, representing the current owners, said: "The owners have been custodians of this family jewel for many years but recognise that they need to pass the baton to a developer in order to preserve the building and realise its full potential. The future of this unique building is extremely important to them and while there have been numerous approaches over the years, for various uses, they believe the plans for a boutique hotel is the best way to fulfil their determination to rejuvenate the existing building."

Last year, Press Up Hospitality Group was granted planning permission to open a Dean hotel in Birmingham, the first location for the brand outside of Ireland.

Press Up Hospitality Group, established in 2009, operates restaurants, bars, hotels and high-end cinemas, mainly across Ireland and more recently the UK with the opening of two restaurants in Doncaster. The group has a growing portfolio of more than 65 venues, including the Dean, Stella Cinema, Elephant & Castle, Glasson Lakehouse, Wowburger and the Mayson.

Bedford Way was advised by local firm Finch in scoping out sites in the city centre. Press Up Hospitality Group is part of McKillen Corporation, directed by Patrick McKillen Junior.

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