In Belfast, thirsty travelers can head to 46 Great Victoria Street, sip a delicious drink and munch on appetizers at the Crown Liquor Saloon. Found in Central Belfast the Crown Bar (as it is also known) was built in the 1800s. With beautifully crafted woodwork, leather seats, colored tile work, and artfully-placed mirrors, the saloon shares a spot on the Golden Mile of Belfast. Along with the Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast boasts several other attractions along the Golden Mile.
The Golden Mile is arguably Belfast’s liveliest dining and entertainment district, stretching from the Opera House on Great Victoria Street to the university on University Road. Besides the Crown Bar Belfast tourists can explore the Lagan Lookout Visitors Center, the Ulster Museum, the beautiful Botanic Gardens, and the Odyssey, which is a millennium project complex with a food pavilion and an elaborate science center.
The Crown Bar Belfast’s most famous bar was refurbished by Patrick Flanagan in the late nineteenth century. It is now owned by the National Trust and considered a historic building. The exterior is decorated with colorfully ornate tiles, with a large mosaic of a crown on the floor outside the entrance, subtly indicating, “Belfast the Crown Bar in all its majesty awaits you!” The interior of the saloon was designed roughly a decade after the exterior. It sports stained and cut glass, marble, ceramics, and carved mahogany. The entire bar is lit by genuine gas mantles. Its famous “snugs” (almost cubicle-like booths) allow for privacy within the often busy bar, and patrons can also find seats at the long, highly decorated bar alongside one wall of the pub. The snugs are equipped with gunmetal plates from the Crimean War. The plates are intended to be used for striking matches.
The Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast is one of the finest high-Victorian bars in the UK. It’s also tenacious: it survived over 40 bombings during the Troubles. In addition, the drinks are delicious, especially the Jameson and Coke.
Upstairs, the Crown Dining Room serves up tasty appetizers and bar food. The bangers and mash are especially popular. Dining room patrons can enjoy historic photos and memorabilia as they sample a nice pint of Guinness. To patrons gazing out the windows of the Crown Bar Belfast’s Golden Mile sparkles with energy and activity.
Like many bars in Belfast the Crown Bar is open daily, although it has shorter hours on Sunday. Snugs can be reserved ahead of time. As the Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast is very popular, you should call beforehand to book a seat. Nights and weekends are particularly busy. If you want to get a good look at the place and miss the crowds, go during lunch or in the early afternoon for a cocktail and appetizers.
Like the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, the Crown Liquor Saloon is both historic and spirited. Whether its business or pleasure that brings you to Belfast the Crown Bar is a great place for a quick lunch, slow happy hour, or a historic building where you can literally drink in a piece of Irish culture.