Charcoal pizza, natural wines and creative cocktails - what's on the menu at Sunderland's new Proven People restaurant

There’s been lots of interest in our first look around piece at Proven People, with the newest addition to the city centre already proving popular.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 2:04 pm

As the pizza parlour and bar breathes new life into the former Divino’s pizza and Cafe Rocco site in Burdon Road, which has stood empty for a number of years, we take a look at what’s on the menu.


Pizzas are the main feature on the menu, and you can watch them being prepared at the open pizza bar.

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Proven People opened in Burdon Road on July 2
Proven People opened in Burdon Road on July 2

Made using the site’s own blend of flour, as well as Fior di Latte cheese and Calabrian San Marzano tomatoes, there’s classics on the menu such as Margherita and Pepperoni, but there’s also some more unusual options such as Roast Duck, Tuna and Crab & Chilli. As well as turning up the heat with chillis, the Nduja pizza comes with a deoxidising charcoal base – for something a little different.

Prices range from £9 for a Margherita to £12 for Sausage & Fennel to £15 for Crab & Chilli.

There’s also a range of pizza by the slice for £3.50 and garlic breads from £5.

Other Options

The new venture has transformed the former Divino's Pizza site

There’s a range of salads and small plates on the menu. Salads are available as a side of main, with options such as Watermelon, Feta, Mint and Cucumber (£5/£10) and Radish & Chicory (£5/£9).

Small plate options include Truffle and Parmesan fries (£4), Vegan Bruschetta (£8), King Prawns (£10) and Beef Carpaccio (£10).

Dietary requirements

There’s a number of vegan options on the menu, and some, such as salad, can have vegan dressing added on request.

The Nduja pizza with house pizza sauce, Fior di Latte, fresh chilli and deoxidising charcoal base.


There’s a choice of red, white, rosé and sparkling wine, available by the glass or bottle, such as Tekena Sauvignon Blanc and Élevé Malbec, with prices starting from £4.50 a glass. Or, you can order off menu, with a glass of natural wine which changes regularly and is supplied by Kork Wine & Deli in Whitley Bay.


Draught beer includes Stella, Corona, Camden Hells and Camden Pale, starting from £4 a pint. There’s a range of bottled and canned lagers and ciders such as Peroni, Dos Equis and Old Mout. Bottles / cans start from £3.50 for a Heineken.

Chilli and crab pizza


You’ll find some of the city’s most unusual cocktails at Proven People. Owners Lee Forster, Paul Stewart and Elliot Towsey are well-known in the local music scene for their decades of experience in DJing and events and their passion for music flows through the venue and menu.

General manager and bartender Jordan Crulley has created a cocktail list inspired by the team’s favourite tracks, with options such as I Feel Love (rhubarb gin, black raspberry liqueur, pineapple juice and raspberries), French Kiss (sloe gin, lemon juice, apple juice, gomme, strawberry jam and red wine foam) and Little Fluffy Clouds (vodka, blue curacao, gomme, citric acid and soda water). Cocktail prices are £7-£8.50.


Music is just as important as the menu here. DJs from across the country have curated playlists which are played throughout the day. At night look out for live DJ sets to enjoy while you eat.

Opening hours

Locally landed king prawns with garlic, chilli and parsley

Sunday to Thursday from noon until midnight and Friday to Saturday from noon until 2am.


To secure a booking email [email protected], but it’s also open for walk ups, subject to availability.

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French Kiss cocktail and a natural wine from the Kork Wine and Deli selection
Proven People is open for bookings and walk ups