- Nov '06
Hiya to everyone who reads the excellent "Your
Place and Mine" boards. You'll be glad to hear
that the proprietor of the Kitchen Bar and his staff
are intent on making history all over again. You can
knock down bricks and mortar but it's mighty hard to
knock a good man down.
Marianne Reid, the manageress, and all the staff at
Pat Catney's new premises would be delighted to meet
both new customers and others who visited the original
bar to experience the Kitchen Bar's warmth.
The Kitchen is ideal for intimate gatherings. The Blue
Note Jazz Quartet (featuring Linley Hamilton and Linley
Scott) on a Monday night (9.30pm to 12.00pm .. Free
admission) is something of a phenomenon - i.e. it has
quite a few people in the centre of town on a Monday
night! The ambiance and craic is good and the bar is
never overly 'packed'.
There's another Jazz session on Thursday Evening 5.30pm
- 7.30pm when you can hear The Jazz Messengers playing
featuring Linley Hamilton and Mark McKnight. Again admission
Tel no 02890-324901 36-40 Victoria Square for further
details. There is very limited parking as the bar is
still basically amidst a building site. However, there
is on-street parking after 6pm on Upper Church Lane
- Marianne told me she has never heard of anyone being
booked by police or wardens after this time...
Check the bar's website www.thekitchenbar.com
Patti - Mar 06
A girl I was waitressing with in Vancouver, Canada (Deborah
Catney) is looking for her uncle John Catney in Belfast.
Apparently, he has his hand in a few pubs around the
city and she would love to get a phone or e-mail contact
for him. She has been in Vancouver for 10 years and
grew up near Belfast (Co. Antrim?, Down?). She wants
to come over from Canada to our wedding in Donegal Town
next summer and would appreciate a bit of travel expense
assistance by working at a pub in Belfast for a couple
months. She's GREAT to work with and I had the pleasure
of being her co-worker before. I'm Donegal Town and
can be reached by phone at 086-860-2326 or 353-74-97-21784.
I'd appreciate any info that would reunite these 2 souls.
Wynn Wright - May '05
An act of holiganism by people who only care about money.
I spent many a happy hour in the Kitchen Bar on my many
visits to Belfast. I was devastated when I saw the photos.
Gavin McAllister - August 2004
It's very sad to see one of the oldest and finest bars
in Belfast demolished. They should have tried to preserve
it somehow. Demolishing the building shouldn't have
been allowed to happen. Hopefully this won't happen
to any other historical building in our city.
Kevin J Taylor - August 2004
All i can say is what a crying shame. Out with the old
in with the bland concrete effigies that look so out off place and
are not made
to be anything but money catchers .
W. Davey - August 2004
Shame! Shame! Shame!
Sloan - August 2004
a shame when the big shots put money before history.
One thing about Aberdeen, Scotland they can put what
in the vacant buildings but they will not deface or
demolish any of those great granite historic buildings
at all. You can bet if anything historic is in the
way of a multimillion pound project it will go down.
True saying, he rich get greedier.
Turkington - August 2004
a last pint and kbs in May whilst working in the city
centre, will miss the character…and the rest!!!!
Another part of our heritage written off - could the
planners maybe have thought this one out better??
Remember the 1960's architects and planners, and what
they done for Belfast!!!
Mark Redmond - August
Tragic and short sighted. Belfast
has lost enough heritage during the vandalism of the
troubles without deliberately inflicting this vandalism
on itself. Shame on the authorities for allowing this.
James McGowan - August
I'm just very glad I got
to visit it before it went! Why do planners do this,
destroy perfectly good buildings and replace them with
cardboard boxes? Didn't they learn anything from the
concrete chaos of the 60s? While I hope the Kitchen
can resurface in new premises, something is always
Tony Forster - August
Whenever I visited Belfast
on business I made for the Kitchen Bar. I have stayed
in the rooms above the pub on several occasions,
once with my wife. Alec greeted me with cheerful recognition:
I always ended up in conversation - usually after
hours...it was the friendliest spot in the city and
of my visit. I joined the campaign to save it, writing
to the local authority.
I can't believe it's gone....
Ernie Swain -
It's disgusting. This
was one of Belfast's finest bars.
John Devlin -
Once again the
avarice of developers and the complete ignorance
of politicians have conspired to the destruction
of what I consider was one of Belfast's finest
More shopping malls and flats when
the city has enough of them anyway, it makes one vomit.
Don - August 2004
Sad to hear and see it
is gone. Pat and the Kitchen were very welcoming to
a group of Nova Scotians - may it rise again.
A N Other - August 2004
The destruction of the
Kitchen Bar is a travesty. That widespread desire to
retain the pub was ignored shows the utter lack of
respect and concern the powers that be have for the
people. We don't need more shops but we do need to
retain something of the character of Belfast. The people
concerned should be very ashamed of themselves and
they should lose their jobs very, very, soon.
Margaret and Kay
- August 2004
They should try to maintain the ambience of the old
bar when they build the new one.
Connor Mulholland - August 2004
Once again commercial greed & exploitation has been
allowed to destroy part of our heritage despite the
opposition of the public.Our Planning department clearly
is in need of a new set of values & probably also
leadership, both organisational & political,but
we as the voters need to make it clear that not everything
should be driven by the profit motive. There surely
must have been a way of developing without wholesale
destruction,but obviously that was too much trouble
& challenge for the developers.
Jim Boyd - August 2004
Have been to Belfast twice in thirty years and the last
time I was there was 5 years ago. I spent a lot of time
going round the areas of Belfast and believe me, I thought
that the place was in a mess. Who ever planned the streets
& the houses wants to go back to school and give
the people of the north a go.
Harold McCartney - August 2004
I wonder why they did it in the wee small hours of the
morning? No coincidence I'm sure. Were they too ashamed
to share daylight with the rest of us? Did they think
no-one might notice if they hid in the shadows?
Flatcap - August 2004
What a total and utter disgrace. One would
hope that everyone involved might sooner or later feel
thoroughly ashamed to have played a part in the thoughtless
destruction of an important part of our built heritage.
Just makes you realise that money talks all languages
and if they really wanted to, they could knock down
the City Hall - if the price was right that is.
Shame on all of you!
Philip Hernberg, Chairman, CAMRA
NI - 29 July 2004
The demolition of this rare gem of a pub is a national
disgrace. The developers claim that they listen to local
opinion but the decision to demolish the "KB"
makes a mockery of this claim. We have come through
over 30 years of destruction by subversive elements
within our society yet our Government has given a green
light for further state-sanctioned removal of our Victorian
Shame on them.
John Baird - 27 July 2004
Considering the number of buildings of historical importance we have
already lost in Belfast, it seems incredible that another is gone. Surely,
as others have said, it could have been integrated into the new project.
Sherry Ayala - USA - 27 July 2004
I am sad to see a part of your history being torn down.
I hope that the owners can take some of the furnishings
David Taggart - 26 July 2004
This reminds me of the time when Great Victoria Street
railway station was demolished, a complete waste of
an excellent terminus for visitors to Belfast, now
replaced by a station with platforms so short that the enterprise
service can't use it. Why do we need another shopping
centre? Most of the shops will be duplicates of shops
in exsisting centres, with one or two new ones. Visitors
to Belfast and Dublin come to see the various attractions
this includes the pubs. Perhaps the ministers' next
suggestion will be to concrete over Belvoir Forest
Park to create a massive "Park and Ride" to help reduce congestion
on the Ormeau Road. What a shame.
B. E. Rainey - 26th July
Anywhere else, city planners would have at least incorporated
such a historical landmark in the new complex. Instead,
as in many North American cities, there will be soulless modernity which
end up not creating a vibrant centre, but driving people
away. Listen to what people say about "downtown" elsewhere.
What a lack of foresight both for Belfast people and for the need to
K. Davidson - 20th July
Several of the main statutory agencies and arts/heritage
providers in Belfast (and more broadly throughout NI)
are currently attempting
to work together to produce an integrated approach towards
economic and cultural regeneration via flagship projects.
The 'one voice' ethos
is, in theory, admirable since there has been far too
much divisive 'me too' politics during recent times.
However there appears to be a
very real problem, in that those charged with the responsibility
of regenerating Northern Ireland and representing us
to ourselves and others are listening
first and foremost to marketing managers. It would appear
that the main aim is that of 'rebranding' (flogging)
from a position of insecurity.
No doubt Victoria Square etc will look pleasing on the
eye; certainly Belfast has been in dire need of a concerted
push towards modernisation
to bring it into line with other post-industrial cities.
But there appears to be a real oversight in terms of
thinking about how people actually
use the city, its spaces and facilities. I don't understand
this (parochial) desire to refuse to allow any of Belfast's
specific & differentiated
sites to remain (unless, of course, they are perceived
by the marketing people as of interest to external
tourists). They really need to begin
to address issues that would mean considering the actual
lived experience of local people/cultures, instead
of bowing at the alter of a shiny
corporate image of Belfast. Ill-considered development,
with accompanying expanded CHOICE of celeb-bars, restaurants
etc, does not equate with
greater DIVERSITY. Will it necessarily make for a hugely
dcarey - 16th July 04
A sad day
George Smith - 14th July 04
I think it's terrible that they're demolishing the Kitchen
Bar - I always take my English friends there for Paddy
pizzas and nothing they put up there will improve that
area - why do planners continue to ignore our heritage?
P Andrews - 9 July 04
Why can't this little historical jewel be taken down piece by piece
and resurrected in the Ulster Folk Museum or somewhere of that nature?
Casual Observer - 8 July 04
Would this have been allowed to happen in London? don't think so.
R. Johnston - 6 July 2004
How very typical. Once again Belfast loses a piece of its history.
There cannot be many more places of historic interest to be destroyed
in the so called interests of development. A misnomer if ever there
T W Ferres - 3 July 2004
The planning authorities' decision to permit demolition
of a building like the Kitchen Bar is ill-judged and
deplorable. We should be doing everything we can to
retain historic buildings, not wrecking them. It is
effectively an act of vandalism.
Colin Meban - 3 July 2004
It's great to hear that Belfast is at long last getting
a substantial investment sum to bring it up to modern
day standards. However I would like to know why we have
to totally destroy the history and heritage of something
as important as a genuine local Irish bar, not an MDF
mock up owned by some anonymous chain. Why could it
not have been incorporated into the plans for redevelopment???
I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of today's architects
to think of a scheme or is it sheer laziness on behalf
of developers again.
Stan Jordan - 3 July 2004
The Kitchen Bar is one of the most missed memories I suffer in my self-imposed exile from Belfast.
NIO Minister, John Spellar should try to find ANYWHERE in the world the atmosphere of this particular pub. I have lived
in Victoria, British Columbia for over 50 years and although I still travel widely I have discovered there is no
substitute for the 'Kitchen' - not in Europe, Hong Kong, Mexico & certainly not in North America. I say 'Shame on you,
Mr. Spellar' - come down from your ivory tower - you are allowing the destruction of a piece of Irish Folklore. Why don't
you incorporate the pub into the new development - build your modern facilities around the present structure.
Davy Wilson - 29 June 2004
I no longer live in belfast, I live in perth western
australia. When I did live there, I loved nothing better
than to walk round the town, my town, visiting bars
like , mooneys (gone) whites, morning star, kitchen
& the criterion. I loved them all. What I liked
about them most was the fact that you met people from
the other persuasion, have an intelligent conversation
& move on. The troubles killed mooneys, can you
ever forget the sandwiches they served. Don't let the
developers & the politicians have their way, keep
a bit of old belfast alive, please. I am saving up for
a visit soon & I want to be able to recognise the
never say die.