JSS Restaurants have recently opened their fifth venture; the relaxed, family-orientated Cast & Crew restaurant, located in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
JSS, run by husband and wife duo Niall and Joanne McKenna named the venue as a reference to the restaurant’s proximity to the marina, as well as a nod to TV studios located 100 metres away where the epic Game of Thrones series have been filmed.
Beam Construction acted as the main contractors on the scheme working alongside project architects and designers McGonigle McGrath to transform the former 1960’s bank into a buzzing, family hub. The structure had been disused for the past 15 years and so when works began on site in April this year, after a lengthy design process, it was completely gutted.
Very little was done to the exterior of the building, aside from the relocation of the building’s entrance and the fitting of new windows. The venue was also made fully wheelchair accessible.
Premier Hospitality Magazine caught up with Aidan McGrath, Partner at McGonigle McGrath, to find out more about the venue, which opened in June this year after a two month on site scheme of work. Aidan commented:
“We have been working with JSS Restaurants for a while and this will be our fifth restaurant we have completed for them. The venue is situated in a former ship yard in Belfast where the Titanic was built and so the design scheme echoes the industrial theme boasting various industrial finishes including plywood on the floor.
“The space has industrial, chic feel but primarily is a contemporary diner with a relaxed, family orientated, modern environment. The clients wanted us to create a venue for daytime use with a lot of external dining space.”
The 110 cover restaurant spans one floor one floor comprises an internal dining room with an open kitchen and two outside terraces with space for 65 diners.
Upon entering the restaurant diners can turn left and utilise the takeaway section of the restaurant, or alternatively swing a right and take a seat in the restaurant and watch their meals be prepared in the open kitchen.
The venue’s colour scheme mainly focuses around two colours; battle ship grey and bold, shipyard-crane yellow. The restaurant comprises a mixture of fixed seating and relaxed modern kitchen chairs in the interior dining area, as well as an impressive BBQ feature which dominants the external terraced areas.
The team worked hard to construct a sheltered enclosure over the terraced areas to ensure diners were protected from the elements at all times of the year.
Aidan McGrath added:
“The feedback has been really positive across social media and at the restaurant. As the venue is primarily a daytime venue there has been a clamour from the public to open a night time venue. However at the moment the restaurateurs intend to use the venue for private functions in the evening instead of opening to the public.
“Working on this scheme is a diversion for us as we mostly work on new builds – so working on the refurbishment of an old 1960s bank was a challenge for us. It was a fairly characterless building to begin with, so we have tried to inject some character into it and it is now a chic, industrial restaurant.”