Greens Food Fare opens phase one of major makeover

Lisburn city centre has received a timely boost with the official opening of phase one of the redevelopment of Greens Food Fare on Bow Street.

Greens Food Fare, which has been at the heart of Lisburn for generations, has recently undergone an extensive makeover. Greens Food Fare owner, Kenny Bradleym pictured with Lisburn Chamber President, Garry MacDonald, has committed an investment of £3 million to a three phase redevelopment of the popular city centre store. Read more on page 17

The former Edinburgh Woollen Mill outlet has been integrated into the existing Greens’ store and transformed into a fabulous new food hall.

The original JT Greens shop was established in Lisburn’s Bow Street in 1886. Originally opened as a fine produce butchery shop, the business has seen expansion over the past 134 years and remains famous for ‘speciality foods from around the world’. Following a change of ownership in 2017, the business was taken over by Mr Kenny Bradley who has brought a new vision for the future of Greens Food Fare that will delight it’s loyal base of regular customers.

Mr Bradley, a leading retailer in Northern Ireland for the past 25 years has committed an investment of £3 million to a three phase redevelopment of Greens Food Fare. Unlike any other retail project, Greens Food Fare is an unique and authentic retail business, steeped in 134 years of history. The building survived for decades, becoming a major part of the shopping environment in Lisburn and was partly rebuilt after sustaining considerable damage following a bomb blast in 1974.

Staff at the newly expanded butchery counter in Greens Food Fare

A major development has also seen the relocation of Lisburn’s Post Office from Lisburn Square to within Greens Food Fare making it even more convenient for customers.

Belfast based Whittaker and Watt Chartered Architects were appointed to lead the redesign, interior design and rebranding for the company. Ashley Lamont of Whittaker and Watt explained: “our design ethos was to strip back the many layers of the building fabric which had been installed over many decades. Our research discovered that the original building dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. As conservation architects, our objective was to peel back the history and undertake a sympathetic and quality restoration of the original building, while employing contemporary retail design techniques to blend the historic and modern fabrics.”

The Phase One interior design focused on preserving and exposing an element of the original brickwork walls behind the new butchery counters. The elegant ceiling design and attention to detail are befitting of the best examples found in the Victorian era.

The integration of new LED light technology hidden behind the detailed plastered cornicing, not only provides highly efficient and energy saving light levels but creates a stunning ceiling feature not found in any other retail shop in Northern Ireland. Mr Lamont commented, “Our design approach creates a fascinating blend with the original historic fabric of the building and delivers a uniquely special, and welcoming interior look and feel for Greens Food Fare”.

Exterior of the new Greens Food Fare extension

During the construction of Phase One, the original early 1900s JT Greens shop signage was uncovered to the surprise and delight of all involved in the project.

Mr Lamont explained: “finding the original glazed tiled facade and shop signage was a real gem. All efforts are now focused on the preservation and reuse of the original signage, which will take centre stage in the completed building restoration. Finding the building façade created an opportunity to introduce the authentic glazed blue façade colour into elements of the new interior theme.”

With Phase one now completed and open to the public, it is a truly stunning example of how an innovative retail design can protect and enhance the character and historic fabric of a business which is highly valued within the greater Lisburn community and beyond. Greens Food Fare is a destination store like no other in Northern Ireland.

Phases two and three are scheduled to commence during 2021 and will protect and enhance the Greens Food Fare shopping experience for decades to come.

The new food hall opened within Greens Food Fare
BBC NI News interviewed Mr Bradley on the opening of Greens’ new phase one extension