Dating back to 1724, the Boar’s Head in the East End was once a popular watering hole for sailors and workers at the nearby port.
After a decade closed, it received Heritage Lottery funding and significant improvement works in 2017 and was given new life as the Boar’s Head bistro, with accommodation upstairs.
Everything you need to know about Sunderland's Summer Streets as family festival returns this weekend
Superfast full fibre broadband coming to Seaham as Grain announces town about to 'go live'
New exhibition raises a glass to the colourful history of Pyrex in Sunderland, one hundred years on
Meet the new Top Model of Sunderland as she lifts the crown at annual contest
Review of Spent Grain as it helps change the face of dining out in Sunderland city centre
Most recently, the downstairs restaurant operated as Volare until the pandemic hit, but now new lease holders Davide De Vivo and Michele De Martino have transformed the site into new restaurant, Knowledge, which will be open from March 17.
They’ve spent the past two months putting their stamp on the place with a contemporary blue and yellow colour scheme, neon signs and feature walls.
Between them they have decades of experience in the hospitality industry, working in the Amalfi Coast, as well as Sunderland venues Angelo’s and Langham Tower.
Mixologist Davide says it’s exciting for them to finally be opening their own venture.
"I’ve worked in hospitality since I was 14, and Michele also has years of experience. He was a chef a Angelo’s for seven years,” he said. “We’ve wanted to do our own thing for a while and this location is amazing on the river.”
Speaking about the name of the restaurant, Davide said: “We’ve called it that because we know what we’re doing and we want to share that knowledge with our customers. We don’t want to just serve them their food and walk away, we want to talk to them about the food and drink and share our experience.”
The restaurant specialises in South Italian street food such as square pizzas, with a range of white base options as well as tomato bases, made with a 36-hour proof dough; handmade burgers, antipasti, meatballs and more.
Michele said: “Everything is made fresh and we really want to put our stamp on the place.”
The 60-cover bar and restaurant has created six new jobs, with more expected in the summer. The terrace, which has uninterrupted views along the river, will open from May and people will be able to enjoy bar snacks, as well as drinks, on the terrace.
It’s the latest investment at this end of the city, with Pop Recs and the Sunshine Co-operative recently opening their doors at the bottom end of High Street West.
In the coming weeks, 1719 will open in the old Holy Trinity Church, once at the heart of Old Sunderland, after a major £4.3million restoration project to turn it into an events and arts space.
Sunderland’s oldest pub is thought to be The Clarendon, dating back to 1753 in licence records, but with a building on the site since 1724. The nearby Boar’s Head, which also operated as The Boar’s Head Hotel, is thought to have opened soon after, making it the second oldest pub in the city.