Leisure parks boss eyes Haymarket bar buyout

Leisure parks boss eyes Haymarket bar buyout

The man behind the We Are Vertigo leisure parks is eyeing up a takeover of the Haymarket bar having successfully run it since the summer.

Gareth Murphy is now looking to purchase the former Hudson bar on Gresham Street, which opened its doors again following a £250,000 investment to transform the venue and kickstart the rejuvenation of the Smithfield and Union Quarter.

Speaking at the time director of hospitality Michael Stewart said: “We are thrilled to bring a new and exciting offering to Belfast, which reinforces the hospitality sector’s determination and commitment to bounce back from the pandemic.

“Entering from Royal Avenue we have started the transformation of an iconic building, which was a Haymarket from the end of the 19th Century. We are delighted to be part of Belfast’s regeneration for the next generation, and all of us who aren’t quite old enough to remember the Haymarket but have watched Belfast grow and evolve”.

Gareth Murphy told the Belfast Telegraph plans to buy the venue from its present owners, who include bus-driver-turned-lottery-winner Peter Lavery, were progressing.

‘Confidence in the industry’

He said: “We have invested in the area since we opened up in May, and have confidence in the pub industry in Belfast city centre.

“We have made a significant investment in the bar, and the purchase process is now progressing.”

Gareth Murphy, owner of We Are Vertigo
We Are Vertigo owner Gareth Murphy
Mr Murphy first opened a trampoline park in 2014. There are now two We Are Vertigo inflatable parks in Titanic Quarter and Newtownbreda in Belfast.

He said a “sense of normality” had returned to his businesses over the summer adding: “We’ve had staycation business from home and people from Ireland, so it’s been nice to see people returning over the summer months.

“All the venues are now open, and it’s been nice after so long of staff stopping and starting work to have some momentum.”

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