First look inside Sunderland’s new Peacock pub

The Peacock, former Londonderry
The Peacock, former Londonderry
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After months of anticipation The Peacock has finally got its feathers.

Following twelve weeks of building work at the historic Grade I-listed site, the city centre’s newest pub will pull its first pint for punters from lunch time on Friday.

The Peacock, former Londonderry

The Peacock, former Londonderry

Named after a coaching inn which stood on the site from 1770 to 1834, The Peacock is housed in the former Londonderry pub, which was bought by The Mac Trust culture group last summer.

The pub is seen as the latest key building in the development of the emerging Cultural Quarter, which is centred around the transformation of the Old Fire Station into a restaurant, arts and performance space.

Like its sister pub The Dun Cow, The Peacock, which has created 30 new jobs in the city, will have a focus on real ales, live music and freshly-made food.

Joe Smith, operations director at Pub Culture Ltd, which operates the pub, said although there has been some controversy over changing the name of the pub - which was originally opened in 1901 in honour of coal mine owner the Marquess of Londonderry - he hopes people will appreciate the changes made.

The Peacock, former Londonderry

The Peacock, former Londonderry

He said: “Like The Dun Cow, the ethos of the pub is about reinstating the history and bringing a marvellous building back to life. We’ve had a lot of interest from people while the builders have been in, with people knocking at the doors to get in and see what we’ve done with the place.”

The ground floor houses a main bar, as well as a Sunderland lounge and a Peacock lounge, while upstairs will be a function room which will stage live music, curated by the people behind The Think Tank in Newcastle.

Joe said: “There was a lot of work to be done. What is now The Peacock Lounge had been turned into toilets and a beautiful original fireplace had been covered up. Upstairs, hadn’t been touched since it was Flares and had to be totally ripped out.

“We’ve also reinstated a kitchen which needed some major work.”

The Peacock managers Dan Luke and Amy Willis

The Peacock managers Dan Luke and Amy Willis

The bar will serve eight cask ales on rotation and 12 keg and craft ales, which will also change regularly, as well as more than 60 types of bottled beers.

Much of the beer comes from local breweries including Maxim, Wylam and Tyne Bank.

Food served will also have a local flavour with specialities including home-made corned beef, panackelty and beef dripping chips.

The menu has been devised by chef David Gill, who also runs the kitchen at The Chop House above The Dun Cow.

The Peacock, former Londonderry

The Peacock, former Londonderry

Joe said: “With the developments being made in this corner of the city it’s very exciting times and this building is a very important part of that.”

The Peacock, former Londonderry

The Peacock, former Londonderry