Bars for sale as publicans wait for opening news

Bars for sale as publicans wait for opening news

Two bars have been added to the ‘for sale’ list with commercial real estate specialist Osborne King.

The Rex Bar on the Belfast’s Shankill Road and the Longfield Inn in Eglinton are now on the books with prices available to interested parties.

The hospitality sector has been hit harder than most during the Covid-19 pandemic and many publicans have seen their debts spiral during lockdown.

At the last count Northern Ireland’s biggest property retail site,, had 12 public houses on its books and with no certainty as to when hospitality can reopen the future is far from certain for many.

Dating from 1865, The Rex is the Shankill’s oldest public bar, and has played host to Hollwood actors including Vince Vaughan, Tim Robbins and Susan Surandon.

The bar sits beside some of the most photographed murals in Northern Ireland and was even rumoured to have a resident ghost.

The Longfiled Inn is on the market

News of the sales comes after Hospitality Ulster chief Colin Neill warned “things will get worse before they get better” for the trade.

He said: “The hospitality sector is so fragile at the minute that we can’t afford just to have doors open and then be severely curtailed and restricted to the point that it’s not financially viable.

‘Dire situation’

“We have to remember that any revenue gained at reopening will only be going towards the offsetting of debt that has been accumulated over the least 12 months and beyond.

“Cash reserves, loans and borrowed money have been burnt through months ago and with increasing levels of employers contribution required for the likes of the furlough scheme in the coming months we are actually going head first into a dire situation.”