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Best of the west

The Boss man

By Staff Reporter

Hugo Finlay is the owner of Hugo Thomas menswear, one of the most recognisable independent stores on the Lisburn Road. A committed member of the Lisburn Road Business Association, Hugo grew up on the Lansdowne Road before settling in Coney Island in County Down. In a previous life he worked alongside inmates of the US penal system before establishing his reputation as a leading menswear retailer…

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born on the Antrim Road and grew up on the Lansdowne Road


Where did you go to school?

St Malachy’s, Queen’s University and the University of Ulster, Jordanstown


What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a painter and decorator just like my dad


What are the worst and best jobs you have ever had?

The worst was working in a commercial laundrette in the United States alongside inmates of the local prison. The best was as a nightclub host in Spain in the mid-80s


What is your favourite book, film and band?

The book is David Niven’s autobiography called The Moon’s a Balloon, the film is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the band is Coldplay


Do you have a favourite joke or quote?

’Don’t let them grind you down’ or at least the uncensored version


What is your most treasured possession?

I can’t think of just one


What is your greatest fear?



What are you very good at?

Avoiding interviews


What are you most proud of?

My family


What place would you like to visit before you die?


What is the last text message you received?

It was from my sister


If you were a politician, what is the first thing you would do?

Fight for fairer rates for small business


If you won the lottery what would you spend it on?

I’d buy a boat


How do you want to be remembered?

‘At least he tried’


What do you like most about North Belfast?

The Cavehill


What would you change if anything?

I’d put better facilities in along the shore


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