The Dempster family from Newtownards have been gifted a very special piece of furniture by Wolf Inns, following a £500,000 renovation at Roma’s Bar and Restaurant in the town.
For many years, Paul Dempster spent his Saturday afternoons at the venue, enjoying a meal with his grandmother, Margaret and they always sat at the same table.
Now, following an extensive refurbishment programme at Roma’s, Paul and his family have been reunited with that precious table and the great memories it holds of Margaret, a former assistant head cook at Brooklands primary school in Dundonald, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 82.
Paul said the table, which has also been engraved in memory of his grandmother, would serve as a reminder of happier times.
‘Nan was a creature of habit. She would call us every week to ask what we were doing and every week, without fail, we’d end up getting lunch at Roma’s,’ he said recently.
“As well as sitting at the same table, she always ordered the same thing – and it made the staff laugh – a beef baguette without the baguette!
“She actually had known the original owner, Roma Hamill so the restaurant was a special place for us.
“When I heard that it was to be refurbished, I immediately thought of that table and sitting there with my dad, my sister, and nan.
“It will now sit pride of place in my kitchen. I am so grateful to everyone at Roma’s for making this happen.”
Roma’s manager, Leanne McClinton says that staff at the venue feel very close to many of their regular customers:
‘It is our privilege to provide a place for them to gather to mark special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, or in the case of Paul and the Dempster family, somewhere where they could come together for a regular catch up,’ she added.
“As we look towards the next chapter of the Romas story, it is wonderful to think that a part of the former restaurant will remain for many years to come.”
The refurbishment works follow a major investment by Wolf Inns, which purchased the Regent Street venue late last year.
The first phase of the renovations, the downstairs bar and restaurant, has been completed.
A new separate bar, The Fox and Hounds, will also be created on the ground floor within the existing footprint of the building later his summer.
Finally, the 120-seater bistro and private dining areas on the first floor will also undergo complete refurbishment, culminating with the creation of a New York inspired open air roof terrace.
Our picture above shows Paul with Roma’s manager, Leanne McClinton and the table, bearing a photo of Paul’s grandmother, Margaret.