ONE of the district’s best known restaurants is under new ownership.
The Halfway House, which has been operating since the 1800s, has had a number of years of uncertainty after going into administration. However, the popular venue is now under new ownership, and it is in local hands.
Businessmen Brian Scullion, who also owns the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, and Jonto Walker, who runs Walkers Interior Design and Soft Furnishings, have bought the Halfway, and a refurbishment scheme is currently underway.
Both men are well known in the local area, with Mr Scullion previously owning the Coach Inn, Banbridge.
The popular pub/restaurant remains open whilst the refurbishment takes place, and diners can see plans laid out, displaying what the new owners intend.
A new menu is also on offer, whilst decorators will soon be moving in, and hopes are high for the future of the establishment.
The Halfway, which is set in a rural backdrop, is situated just 50 yards off the main A1 dual carriageway, halfway between Banbridge and Dromore. The Halfway went into administration in 2010 when it was under the ownership of Richard Ferris.
It was estimated then that it would cost a cool £1million to buy the popular country pub.
The business was taken over by Botanic Inns at that time, but is now once again in local hands with the recent change of ownership.
In 2007, plans to extend and make alterations to the existing restaurant and public bar to provide a three-storey hotel with car parking were turned down but were later granted after an appeal and support from Banbridge council.
However, those plans were put on hold as the economic crisis hit the establishment.
The Halfway has been a popular venue for diners ever since opening in the 1800s. In 2007 it was named by UTV’s Ultimate Ulster as one of the top 10 places in Northern Ireland to eat following a public survey.