McHughs Bar & Restaurant

Our History


McHughs Bar is of historic and architectural significance as the earliest known building in Belfast.




The original gable exhibits several early construction techniques that are rare in the context of Northern Ireland, including brick noggin walling and early handmade brick; timbers are also of an early date and offer valuable evidence of early construction techniques. Evidence of historic changes in the Victorian era is also visible. The Victorian rendering of the front of the property contributed to the concealment of the bars true age until 1997.

An archaeological survey of McHughs Bar in 1997 by FW Hammond, found the site to be ‘by far the oldest building to have survived in Belfast'... Built between 1710 and 1715’ no 29-31/33 Queens Square were constructed at this time as part of the Hanover Quay development undertaken by Isaac McCartney between 1710 and 1720 and given that ‘not even one standing wall of pre 1769 was previously known to have survived anywhere in Belfast, it is particularly fortunate to find that this building is not only essentially intact, but also represents such an important part of the early town’

Now a grade ’A’ listed building
The old McHugh’s Bar has been sympathetically restored using historically correct materials and techniques. The renovation revealed that the interior had undergone many transformations through its life and the restoration to its original conditions took eighteen months.

McHugh’s Today



Bought over buy the Downeys Bar Group in 2013. Today the main bar at McHugh’s offers a homely feel with open fires and local music throughout the week. Around each corner of McHugh’s there is another item of historic significance to see, from pictures of the Harland & Wolff board during the building of the Titanic, to more recent local newspaper reports on the paramilitary ceasefires.
The successful refurbishment of McHugh’s is a classic example of a building, preserved as a functional landmark of Belfast’s heritage, which can be enjoyed for many years to come. With entertainment, art, culture and history, McHugh’s is a traditional bar with a difference.
Today, McHugh’s offer the best in local entertainment, food, drink and craic across three floors. With a 100-seater restaurant, we offer traditional Irish cooking with a modern twist, with dishes to suit all palates.

McHughs Bars, Basement & Restaurant





THE OLD BAR
McHughs main bar is traditionally Irish in its design. With open fires and walls adorned with paintings and other historical & cultural furnishings, no matter where you look, there will always be something of interest.

THE BASEMENT
The Basement Bar truly is a hidden gem. With the same traditional feel as the main bar, the basement is often used as an intimate live music venue. Over the years, has hosted established artists such as Sea Sick Steve, Kodaline, Two Door Cinema Club and more.

THE LORD LUCAN ROOM
The Lord Lucan Room offers intimate private dining for up to 30 people, set away from the busy crowds below. In the past it has hosted everything from small wedding parties to murder mystery nights. If interested, please contact a member of management.

THE RESTAURANT
The Restaurant is a comfortable space, seating up to 100 people, & in keeping with the rest of the venue, oozes old world charm. Traditional Irish cuisine with a modern twist, we endeavour to source products from local suppliers.




What's on?





FOR FOLK SAKE
Join us every Friday in the old bar for some traditional folk and modern covers performed by For Folk Sake.

IRISH TRADITIONAL SESSION
Every Saturday from 3pm - 5pm
Practice Session every Sunday 2pm- 4pm
All experience levels. Everyone welcome.



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