Newest Review: ... area outside the front door and there is normally quite a substantial beer garden where you can smoke, unfortunately this is under re... more
Traditional, laid back and good craic!
Empire Bar (Belfast)
Member Name: julesgilmore
Empire Bar (Belfast)
Advantages: helpful staff, good pints, good entertainment
Disadvantages: only 3 toilets
Following being out at the Empire Bar in Belfast last night I thought that I should review it today.
The Empire Bar is in Botanic Avenue in Belfast near to the central hub of Belfast nightlife. The Empire is in a great location and you will always find a taxi nearby, a hotel to stay in and fast food late at night!
The Empire is split into two Bars, the larger of the two bars is upstairs in the building and is very impressive. This bar has a large stage at the front and hosts comedy nights and 70s and 80s nights. The upper bar is very popular and at the weekend you should either arrive early or expect to queue for a short time.
Last night I was in the lower bar. This bar is a bit dungeon like and is very dark however also very cosy! There is a small smoking area outside the front door and there is normally quite a substantial beer garden where you can smoke, unfortunately this is under renovation at present however a smoking area (small as it is) is still provided.
Last night I went to see a local band playing, (The Arms of Venus De Milo). The band themselves were fantastic and the sound was great. The band started playing around 10.30 and finished at 1am. For this privilege I paid an admission fee of £3.00 which I thought was very reasonable for a nights great entertainment.
As usual I rushed straight to the toilet when I arrived! The toilets are just beside the front door and there are three cubicles in the ladies. Last night one of the toilets were out of order so I did have to queue a few times but only for a short while. The toilets in general were preety clean however my mum did have to ask once for the toilet roll to be replaced, there was not a scrap to be seen - I hate this when it happens but it was replenished preety quickly.
This particular bar in the Empire is quite big and holds a traditional feel. Most of the seating would be traditional wood, stained in a very dark brown and this adds to the cosy feel. There is one long bar area at the left hand side of the room and there were always about three or four bar staff working so I always got served right away even though it was quite busy. The price of drink is around the same that you would pay anywhere in Belfast, £3.15 for a pint. The bar also stocks a god variety of drinks.
Beside the bar there is also a nice little feature, it is a large glass case dedicated to Jagermeister which states 'Our house wine is Jagermeister!' I found this a great addition to the bar and a great talking point.
There is a stage at the back wall in the room which is raised with lights shining down on it, the stage is quite a good size for a five piece band.
At the right had side of the room there is a raised balcony area with tables and chairs and wide window sills to sit on if the notion takes you.
The atmosphere in the Empire is very relaxed and I have always had a good night in it. The most common age range last night would of been over 25s and as I am 30 this suited me perfectly!
I will most certainly be returning to the Empire and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Belfast, it is a great laid back night out, the staff in the Empire are all very friendly and look out for The Arms of Venus De Milo as they were really good too!!
Summary: A great night out 5/5!!
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