New Sunderland bar opens in Glass Spider building

Seamus Whelan, front, will be hosting a St Patrick's Weekend event at Life of Riley, Green Terrace, Sunderland, with him are from the new bar left to right; Hannah McCaffery, Kyra Boutell, Matt Eyre, Daniel Whale and assistant manager Michael Hall.

Seamus Whelan, front, will be hosting a St Patrick's Weekend event at Life of Riley, Green Terrace, Sunderland, with him are from the new bar left to right; Hannah McCaffery, Kyra Boutell, Matt Eyre, Daniel Whale and assistant manager Michael Hall.

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A NEW city centre bar is hoping for the luck of the Irish as it opens its doors for the first time.

Life of Riley will open tomorrow in the former Glass Spider in Green Terrace, and will kick off its arrival in the city with a three-day Irish festival.

The venue, which was previously owned by trouble-hit Sunderland firm Wylam Leisure, has stood empty since January last year, but Moorgate Bars believe that the site can prove popular once again.

The company has already had success in the leisure field in South Shields, where it owns Dusk, Viva, The Mile and The Rattler.

Life of Riley in Sunderland echoes the firm’s original Life of Riley in Shields which features vintage-style, decor, live acoustic acts and serves food every day.

Moorgate Bars plan to open a nightclub in the upstairs section of the venue later in the year.

Daniel Whale, marketing manager, said: “The venue had been empty for a long time, and we had to strip everything out and start again to make it Life of Riley.

“We’ve had a great reaction from people since we announced we were opening in Sunderland.

“We’ve had a record number of job applications, much more than we’ve had for any other new venue, and there’s been a lot of interest on social media.”

Life of Riley, which has a 3am licence, will host an opening night tomorrow from 7pm.

The following day it will launch a three-day festival to coincide with St Patrick’s Day on Sunday.

The festival is being led by Seamus Whelan, the former general manager at Paddy Whacks.

“There are a lot of Irish links in Sunderland, and with the closure of Paddy Whacks, it’s something people were missing,” he said.

The festival will feature acts including Mad for Road, Deep Fish, the Seamus Band and Emerald Thieves, Irish dancers and big screens will show the Italy versus Ireland Six Nations rugby match on Saturday.

Seamus added: “Paddy Whacks was popular for its post-match entertainment, and that will be something we will do here as well.”