A Glengormley pub has expressed its disappointment at a recent one star food hygiene rating, adding that issues have been rectified.
First opened in 1937, The Bellevue Arms is a stalwart on the Antrim Road, well-known for serving up a hearty meal, with punters enjoying the bar’s views over Belfast.
The popular bar and restaurant was bought by Wolf Inns in 2019, and had previously been under the ownership of the Diamond family.
There are currently 43 members of staff working at The Bellevue, with Wolf Inns employing an excess of 160 people throughout their whole company.
The inspection, carried out by Antrim & Newtownabbey Council on November 24, found that “major improvement” was necessary in the restaurant’s management of food safety.
However, Nigel McNeely, Operations Manager of Wolf Inns, told Belfast Live that such issues have now been corrected since the Council’s visit.
“We’re disappointed in the score, but everything and more has been rectified since then. We can give an assurance that everything is in tip top condition,” he said.
“Everything is now up to date and being managed very well. We run five other licensed premises and they all operate a five star rating. Since taking over The Bellevue about three years ago, we got it up to a five and maintained that.”
As way of explaining the causes of the one-star food hygiene rating, Nigel said that challenges within the hospitality industry during the coronavirus pandemic play a part.
He said: “The industry has been very challenging recently with a high turnover of staff and a shortage of chefs. Our safe catering packs got a wee bit behind when we had a spot visit.
“I subsequently have had a meeting with Environmental Health and I’m having the premises re-scored in early January.
“I’m 34 years in this industry and it’s never been more challenging than it is now. We’ve had temporary staff and agency staff in, just to try and keep the doors open.
“That’s by no means an excuse, but it does go some way in explaining some of the challenges, and therefore it was the paperwork that brought us down.
“I’ve followed all their [the Council’s] guidelines and advice, and I’m very happy to have them out in January, and confident that we’ll regain our scores on the doors to the very high standard that has been there before.”
Since taking over the popular bar and restaurant, Wolf Inns have made massive changes both internally and externally through refurbishments.
This includes a £250,000 refurbishment of the restaurant and beer garden which was announced in March 2019.
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