The Bowery and Crafty Vintner a reimagined slice of style for city
One of the best-known bars in south Belfast has had a major makeover during lockdown, with business partners Andrew Maxwell and Paul Camplisson reinventing what was The Albany as the The Bowery and Crafty Vintner.
The new venue, a £750,000 renovation project, is a multi-concept complex which Andrew insists will not be “a stop gap for the city centre”.
He said: “We want the complex to become a destination where customers can enjoy great food and entertainment.
“We have a brand new 100-seat terrace that can be enjoyed all year round and the complex is split into The Bowery (the old Albany) and the Crafty Vintner.
“The Crafty Vintner incorporates a new off sales and adjoining tasting room (with 38 seats) where customers can sample and enjoy 32 wines by the glass.
“We will open all day for breakfast/brunch and charcuterie and cheese boards in the evening.”
When fully open the venue will employ 70 people and despite having to shut down due to Covid, Andrew’s focus is on the side of the business that can still operate.
‘Front of the revolution’
“We have been able to keep the off sales open and our new online e-commerce site www.thecraftyvintner.co.uk has been a big success.
“We believe this is the direction the industry is moving and we want to be at the front of the revolution. The Crafty Vintner is an omnichannel business.”
Despite everything the hospitality industry has endured over the past 12 months, Andrew is staying positive about what the future holds once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“I think we will bounce back quickly,” he said.
“There will be a bit of nervousness in the beginning but as the vaccine rollout continues confidence will grow. We all crave social interaction and restaurants/bars are the hub for that.
“Spring, early summer is a great time to open, our terrace will be perfect for sunny days. Belfast has some fantastic outdoor areas, and I’m sure everyone else in the industry is looking forward to getting open.”