Former Sunderland AFC director makes a Newcastle signing

Gary Hutchinson (left) with Bob Senior
Gary Hutchinson (left) with Bob Senior
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A Sunderland businessman is to take over at a Tyneside venue.

Former Sunderland AFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson, who announced last month that he would be leaving his high-profile role with the FA at the end of 2017 to concentrate on a private leisure venture, has taken control of Newcastle’s Fat Buddha restaurant.

I want to build on the fantastic work of Bob and his team, and give the venue a renewed sense of purpose and direction.

Gary Hutchinson

Under his ownership, Fat Buddha Newcastle will undergo a soft refurbishment, with a relaunched food menu, and the addition of a new bar below the main restaurant.

The relaunch will see the opening of Nirvana Bar on the lower floor of the venue, a 500-capacity late-night venue, that will feature live music and a DJ.

“The Fat Buddha has earned a deserved reputation as a brand that is ahead of its time - stylish, sophisticated but relaxed, and somewhere people come to for a quality experience, with great food, drinks and service,” said Gary.

“We have a unique venue and a stunning proposition overall at Fat Buddha Newcastle - we believe we can build on that and re-establish it, once again, as a must-visit Tyneside venue.

“We know we have a strong offer as a place for corporate functions and events, so we expect to see the company quickly establish itself, with Christmas fast-approaching, and with a new menu and offer, we hope to attract a new crowd to come and enjoy the venue.”

Fat Buddha is based on the 55 Degrees roundabout in Newcastle.