Belfast's Duke of York pub may stay shut until Easter of 2021 due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Duke of York parent group Commercial Court Inns, which also own Belfast venues The Harp Bar, The Dark Horse and The Friend at Hand whiskey shop, has entered into a consultation period with its employees.
Up to 50 jobs within the group are reportedly at risk of being lost.
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The Irish News quotes Duke of York owner Willie Jack as saying, "We've been closed from March 15, and despite a number of indicative reopening dates, when we've had the expense of restocking and re-engaging staff, we felt we couldn't do it properly, because our pubs are built for convivial conversation, craic and live music in close quarters.
"We won't put addition pressure on the NHS and front-liners, so for now we are staying shut."
"A Terrible Process"
Jack added, "We'll bounce back and get our lights back on and get Belfast buzzing again, but only when it's absolutely safe to do so.
"We will look after all our staff financially. This has been a terrible process to engage in, because we're dealing not just with employees, but friends, many who have worked with us for decades."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.