Barfly: The Treehouse at AMPM, Belfast

No 29: The Treehouse rooftop bar, with its retractable roof, defeats the weather and continues ot grow in popularity

 

It’s 13 years since AMPM opened on the ground floor of its building on Upper Arthur Street in Belfast’s city centre. The popular burlesque Cabaret Supper Club followed on the second floor, and three years ago The Treehouse, a rooftop bar, was opened.

It was recently voted one of the top rooftop bars in the UK and it’s easy to see why. The welcome and service that AMPM has become famous for carries through to The Treehouse, and the risk of taking on the Irish weather is softened by the addition of a retractable roof that covers the entire space. That roof has worked hard this summer and the torrent of bad weather has meant that it’s has only been open at weekend nights, but that hasn’t stopped the flow of customers making it their own.

It’s a really fun, warm space with great décor and atmosphere and the only thing that’s likely to disappoint is how successful it’s become. It’s frequently booked for the entire night by corporate groups and it has become a really popular wedding venue.

The management is currently planning to extend the space and get a full marriage licence so that an entire wedding can be held in the bar. If it is booked when you call, check out the cocktail lounge on the ground floor.

For me The Treehouse is a great symbol of how Belfast business people have taken charge of their own future.

They’ve designed a new modern bar that reflects not just the people of the city but its place within it. Looking down on the street from its terrace you get a bird’s eye view of the life and times of Belfast, and looking around at the bar itself you realise how comfortable it is with itself, perched on high, attracting the young and successful to its door. Join them. You won’t be disappointed. Gary Quinn

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