New chapter at historic Victoria Gardens pub in Sunderland

New management have taken over a historic pub and they’re aiming to put it firmly at the heart of the community.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 12:54 pm

After Victoria Gardens in China Street, Hendon, was closed for a month following the departure of the previous tenant, Helen Maddison has taken over the reins at the nineteenth century pub and is planning to build on its popularity.

Little needed to be done to the interiors, which underwent a complete refurbishment around 18 months ago, but she will be boosting its offering to the community and beyond.

“The pub already has really great locals and they’ve been very welcoming, but as well as keeping them happy, we want to attract new people. The pub has such a big catchment area,” she explained.

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Victoria Gardens pub in China Street

Speaking about what appealed about the pub, she said: “It’s such a well-known pub with a lot of history attached to it and a great regular crowd. It was rammed at the weekend, I think people were over the moon to see it back open.

“For me, it also has a lot of personal ties. My grandma lived in a street nearby and my first place was just over the road so it’s a pub I know well. I think the refurb cost £180,000 and it really brought it up to date looks-wise. There’s so much potential for events though.”

The site’s large car park had been rented out to a builders’ merchant, but Helen has taken it back as part of the pub and will be using it to host events with live music and a bouncy castle for kids.

Helen, who also runs Bar Justice in Sunniside, said: “It’s a great space and there’s so much scope to do things like mini festivals. The pub has a real mixture of regulars and kids are allowed in until 9pm so it’s important to keep them entertained too.”

Helen Maddison has taken over the Victoria Gardens pub.

Other events planned at the pub, which has a dog-friendly area, include installing Sky for matches, starting a pool, darts and football league, a Tuesday night music quiz and monthly live music nights.

There will also be a new food menu introduced at weekends.

The bar at Victoria Gardens
The pub was modernised around 18 months ago
The games room at Victoria Gardens