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New Square tenant puts health on the menu

December 5th, 2016 | by LCN Editor
New Square tenant puts health on the menu
Venue Spotlight
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David Edwards believes that his bright new coffee shop in Lisburn Square is ideally placed to exploit what he sees as a lack of healthy-eating alternatives in the centre of the town…

This year’s £5m public realm re-development scheme in Lisburn Square has lured a clutch of new businesses into the space and created dozens of additional jobs.

The majority of the newcomers are hospitality-orientated traders and among them is David Edwards’ trendy new coffee house, Glasshouse.

David (54), is originally from Newtownbreda in Belfast and many readers will recognise him as the erstwhile proprietor of The Granary coffee and sandwich bar on the city’s Ormeau Road.

Glasshouse Coffee opened in Lisburn at the start of November and while the venture isn’t really a new departure for David, he is aiming to create a high-end, health-conscious offering in the new venue. Speaking to LCN recently, he said that he felt this was a market niche that until now, had been poorly catered to in Lisburn:

“I do think that the number of places where customers can get the healthy option is a little limited in the town at present,” he remarked. “Lots of places are offering conventional menus and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t feel that there is anything at the same level as the Glasshouse offering.”

Open for breakfasts and lunches, Glasshouse does offer a varied selection. Morning diners can have everything from a simple bowl of porridge to buttermilk pancakes with dry cure bacon and maple syrup. The traditional ‘fry’ is still available, but with poached eggs and all the ingredients are grilled.

At lunchtime, conventional fare such as soup and home-made Irish stew s supplemented by more dishes such as the superfood salad with flatbread or a New York Reuben sandwich.

With a maximum capacity of around 36 customers, Glasshouse Coffee’s staff are all trained as accredited baristas by coffee supplier, Baileys and the quality of the finished product is assured by a high-end La Marzocca coffee-maker.

Barista Ryan Smith, Kathryn Dale, chef Simon Nesbitt, Megan Watters and David Edwards.

Pictured here is barista Ryan Smith with Kathryn Dale; chef Simon Nesbitt; Megan Watters and David Edwards.

David Edwards ran The Granary on the Ormeau Road in Belfast for five years before selling that business on in order to pursue the Lisburn project. Before that, his first foray into hospitality had been with the Peppers sandwich bars on Amelia Street and the Boucher Road in Belfast.

“In the past, I’ve had lots of experience opening and running popular lunch and coffee venues like this,” says David. “In terms of this new venture, I just saw a gap in the market here in Lisburn. I came across this unit in Lisburn Square. I thought it was absolutely lovely and I saw the potential in the Square with the other businesses around us. Everything is developing in a nice, contemporary way and we felt straight away that we wanted to be part of it.”

David also revealed that although he comes originally from Belfast, he has long-standing ties with the Lisburn area:

“I used to coach junior football here for 15 years, so I know lots of people here and they have given us great support so far,” he said. “I’ve been following the regeneration of Lisburn Square with great interest since it was taken over by its new owners a year ago and I saw a great opportunity to get something fresh off the ground here.”

David reports that so far, business at Glasshouse has exceeded his expectations – he puts the smooth running of the business so far down to his experience in the trade:

“I make it a point to try and do things right and that helps minimise many of the problems that could potentially arise,” he added. “At the moment, we are focused on driving our trade forward. We have plans for a flyer campaign locally and we are doing lots of social media and encouraging people to come down to Lisburn Square. It’s really a case of keeping the initial momentum going.

“We are also focused on maintaining our standards as well, of course. We’re producing great food and coffee at the minute, there’s a lovely atmosphere here for people to come in and enjoy and we want to build on that.”

David also revealed that long-term – if Glasshouse Coffee continues to trade well – he would look at opening a second coffee shop somewhere else, probably in Belfast again.

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