The Crown’s first incarnation was as The Railway Tavern, opening in 1826 when the first railway ran from Belfast to Lisburn. It passed through a number of hands until 1885 when Patrick Flanagan, son of the previous owner, transformed the pub into the distinctive place it is today.
An architect by trade, he encouraged Italian craftsmen working in Northern Ireland to supplement their income by moonlighting at the pub. It was renamed The Crown, as befitting its interior, and it became one of the most famous of the Victorian Gin Palaces.
The interior is truly distinctive; with a burnished yellow, rose and gold ceiling, a mosaic floor, brocaded walls, wood carvings, stained glass and ornate tables. There are ten snugs - ornately carved wooden booths that you can close off from the rest of the bar. For convenience there are gun metal plates for striking matches and an antique Victorian bell system for calling your server over to order drinks.
In 1978 the National Trust, with the encouragement of Sir John Betjeman, bought the pub. In 1981 the Trust spent £400,000 restoring the Crown to its original state. In 2007 a further £500,000 was spent bringing the Pub up to the standard it remains at today.
There is an extensive food menu featuring traditional Irish food such as Champ, Irish Stew and grilled ham. Customers can reserve a snug to enjoy their lunch or eat in the recently restored Crown Dining Room.
Located near the city centre of Great Victoria Street, opposite the bus and train station, The Crown is often a must-see on many tourists’ lists.
Tel: 028 9024 3187
Address: 46 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7BA