New Sunderland seafront bar with a difference opens after £500,000 revamp – complete with its own distillery

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A NEW bar, and the city’s first distillery, has been unveiled to the public after £500,000 of investment.

After much renovation, the former R Bar at the Roker Hotel has become Poetic License, a distillery bar which specialises in spirits, craft beers and cocktails.

NEW BAR: Managing director Mark Hird and operations director Jonathan Graham, of Tavistock Hospitality,

NEW BAR: Managing director Mark Hird and operations director Jonathan Graham, of Tavistock Hospitality,

It’s the latest in a string of changes at the seafront hotel, which has seen Thai China undergo major investment to become Let There be Crumbs cakery and the launch of the Italian Farmhouse restaurant.

Speaking about the bar, which will soon have an in-house distillery, Mark Hird, managing director of Tavistock Hospitality, said: “Poetic License Distillery Bar is something totally different for, not only this area, but the whole of the North of England.

“To have a bar using its very own hand-crafted spirits is something that has never been done before.

“We wanted to breathe some much-needed life back into the seafront scene.

We’re hoping it will re-ignite the Roker circuit and encourage people to come and spend their evenings in this area again.

Mark Hird, Tavistock Hospitality

“We’re hoping it will re-ignite the Roker circuit and encourage people to come and spend their evenings in this area again, rather than having no other option but to travel in to the city centre or as far as Newcastle for an evening out.”

Poetic License Bar and Distillery, which also serves food, is the third phase of investment from Tavistock Hospitality directors, who announced re-development plans 12 months ago.

Changes have also included refurbishment of the hotel’s ballroom and other function spaces.

Mark added: “We’ve had a few queries with regards to the bar’s name.

NEW BAR: Managing director Mark Hird and operations director Jonathan Graham, of Tavistock Hospitality,

NEW BAR: Managing director Mark Hird and operations director Jonathan Graham, of Tavistock Hospitality,

“We wanted to do something different, and focus more upon the ethos of the bar and the atmosphere we wanted to create inside.

“The definition of Poetic License means ‘to be at liberty to deviate from conventional rules’. In the traditional English spelling of the phrase, Licence is spelled with a ‘c’. However when spelled with ‘s’ is a verb, meaning ‘to give permission to’. So in our case, ‘Poetic License’ is the permission we grant you to be at liberty to deviate from conventional rules, be yourself and most of all enjoy yourself whilst in our bar.”