Former Vaux boss pumps £400,000 into renowned Sunderland pub

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A FORMER Vaux boss has given a pub a new lease of life.

It had long seemed last orders would be called at The Ivy House in Sunderland as its popularity waned in recent years.

But now the Worcester Terrace watering hole has been handed a £400,000 lifeline after being bought by former Vaux director of retail operations Magnus Wilson.

Wearside-native Magnus, who also owns the Borough pub in the city centre and The Cottage in Cleadon, said The Ivy House had been desperate for the cash injection.

He said: “The Ivy House is an iconic pub in this city but unfortunately, it has had a significant lack of investment in recent years which it badly needs.

“The investment programme we’re implementing here will give the pub the attention it deserves and the people in the area a neighbourhood pub they can enjoy.”

The venue is to get a new kitchen, created by Washington contractors Swandene, with work set to be completed next month.

New manager Nick Thompson said the local theme would continue through as it sources food and beer from across the region, as well as continental and American drinks to also be served at the bar.

He said: “Our menu will very much tie in with our belief in using locally-sourced produce and suppliers wherever possible.

“We’ll be supporting local breweries like Maxim, Darwin and Temptation but we’ll also be importing some great craft beers from the USA and Europe.

“In the past few years pubs seem to have lost their way a little bit, showed a bit of a lack of innovation and consequently they all seem to have very similar offerings.

“There are a lot of national chain pubs in city centres all offering the same range of frozen food that gets delivered from a national depot, the same old beers and spirits and not much else is happening.

“We are not saying there’s anything wrong with that type of pub, we are saying it should be about choice but unfortunately at the moment it isn’t.”

The pair have also hinted at plans to open more pubs across the region in the next five years.