Glengormley The Bellevue Arms pub issues statement on ‘disappointing’ one-star food hygiene rating

A Glengormley pub expressed disappointment at a recent one-star food hygiene rating, adding that the issues had been corrected.

First opened in 1937, The Bellevue Arms is a mainstay of the Antrim Road, well known for serving up a hearty meal, with punters enjoying the bar’s view over Belfast.

The popular restaurant and bar was purchased by Wolf Inns in 2019 and was previously owned by the Diamond family.

There are currently 43 staff members working at Bellevue, with Wolf Inns employing over 160 people across the company.

The inspection, conducted by the Antrim & Newtownabbey board on November 24, found that a “major improvement” was needed in the restaurant’s food safety management.

However, Nigel McNeely, chief operating officer of Wolf Inns, told Belfast Live that these issues have now been corrected since the Council visit.

“We are disappointed with the score, but everything has been fixed since then. We can guarantee that everything is in perfect condition,” he said.

“Everything is now up to date and very well managed. We operate five other licensed establishments and they all operate a five-star rating. Since we took over the Bellevue about three years ago, we’ve hit it at five and kept it going. “

In explaining the causes of the one-star food hygiene rating, Nigel said challenges within the hospitality industry during the coronavirus pandemic are playing a role.

He said: “The industry has been very tough lately with high turnover and a shortage of chefs. Our safe catering packages fell a bit behind when we had a site visit.

“I then had a meeting with Environmental Health and I am having the premises reassessed in early January.

“I’m 34 years old in this industry and it’s never been more difficult than it is today. We had temporary staff and agency staff, just to try and keep the doors open.

“This is by no means an excuse, but it partially explains some of the challenges, and so it was the paperwork that brought us down.

“I followed all their [the Council’s] guidelines and advice, and I am very happy to have released them in January, and confident that we will return our scores to the very high level that existed before. “

Since taking over the popular bar and restaurant, Wolf Inns have made significant changes inside and out with renovations.

This includes a £ 250,000 renovation of the beer garden and beer garden which was announced in March 2019.

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Martin E. Berry