by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Purpose-build pods will be the defining feature of a new Bangladeshi restaurant due to open in Belfast’s St Anne’s Square on Wednesday, 14th October. Five self-contained pods are being installed along the side of 7Spice which are capable of accommodating up to forty customers.

The restaurant interior has been re-modelled and re-equipped to the highest possible standard in an overall development costing over £500,000. Up to twenty-five new jobs will be created.

The investment by restauranteur, Luthfur Ahmed, owner of the Bengal Brasserie on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, is a huge recession-defying move in a sector that has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘signature’ restaurant opens a new and exciting chapter at the prestigious northside development.

Mr Ahmed says 7Spice is the pinnacle of his ambition and wasn’t in the least bit deterred by the steep downturn because of coronavirus.

Mr Ahmed said: “I want to create something special, that would stand out in Belfast, and 7Spice is it.

“COVID-19 meant we had to think differently and quickly. Pods were the answer. We commissioned five pods, all of which had to be specially made by Ballinderry-based Robinson Fit-out Ltd.

“The Perspex and timber pods are heated and lit and bring a whole new meaning to eating out. We fully comply with social distancing guidelines and health regulations both inside the restaurant, which can serve up to thirty people, and in the novel pods outside.

“Dining out is dining in at 7Spice. Our Head Chef is foremost in his field and our menu will be exciting and varied. Another feature is that we intend to open our doors for lunches from 12 noon to 4pm.

Economy and Tourism Minister, Diane Dodds, said: “This is a vote of confidence in the hospitality sector that comes at just the right time. This investment – and the new jobs it has created – are a clear signal that the fightback is under way. Mr Ahmed is to be congratulated for the innovative and imaginative measures he has put in place to grow his business in these challenging times.”

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Luthfur Ahmed and wife Fably Khanam show Economy and Tourism Minister, Diane Dodds, purpose-build pods at 7Spice, a new Bangladeshi restaurant due to open in Belfast’s St Anne’s Square shortly.


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