First look inside Seaham's new Londonderry's bar bringing new life to area's oldest building
The bar is housed in Seaham Harbour's oldest building.
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Seaham's newest bar is raising a glass to the harbour's history.
Formerly The Londonderry Arms Inn, the landmark building opposite Byron Place, was the first building to be commenced in the new town of Seaham Harbour in November 1828.
Named after the infamous Marquess of Londonderry, who created the harbour as a means to transport coal, the building was an inn for decades before, more recently, operating as businesses such as Sylvia’s, Massimo’s and Thai-Ger.
Last year, Seaham business partners Andy Smith, Mark Milroy and Gavin Hardy got the keys to the two upper floors of the Georgian building, whilst the ground floor still operates as Samrat.
They set about renovating the building's five bedrooms, which have welcomed a wave of bookings from Seaham's burgeoning tourist market.
Now, the latest phase of their venture is opening its doors.
Londonderry's Bar is its own self-contained bar, specialising in a range of wines, beers, charcuterie, cheese boards and sharing platters.
They've painstakingly renovated the room, which has its own balcony, to bring something new to their home town whilst honouring its heritage.
Portraits of the Londonderrys and old pictures of Seaham adorn the walls under the original panelled ceiling at the landmark building, while trinkets such as mini Davy lamps are a nod to yesteryear Seaham.
Between them, Andy, Mark and Gavin already run some of Seaham's most-popular hospitality and retail offerings, including Slice Seaham, The Lookout and Seaham Waves studio, which specialises in sea glass jewellery.
Gavin said: "We've kept the look of the bar quite secret, so we're really looking forward to seeing Seaham's reaction to the place.
"Seaham has changed so much from what it was 5/10 years ago and we're really proud to be adding to that. More and more places are opening up and really bringing the town to life.
"We have a unique tourist offering here, and we see people coming from around the world to collect sea glass, so it's great to boost that offer."
Londonderry's Bar will be hosting a friends and family night this weekend before opening to the public on November 10.
Andy said: "We wanted to bring the bar back to what it originally was and have gone for a traditional feel, which we'll change up to reflect the seasons.
"The feedback we've had so far to what we've done to the building has been fantastic.
*Londonderry's Bar opens to the public on Friday, November 10 at 12noon. It's accessed via the main entrance to the building via the central staircase. It also has its own customer toilets
Londonderry's will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 10pm. Saturdays from 12noon to 10pm and Sundays 12noon to 8pm.
Food and drink
The new bar offers a range of wines, all priced £20 a bottle or £5.50 for a medium glass and £6.95 for a large glass, as well as Champagnes.
Draught options include Birra Murano lager and Grand Central IPA. There's also options such as SeaCider and bottled beers.
There's also a range of spirits, including an Absinthe self-pouring sharing option, and cocktails.
Food-wise, a sharing platter will start from £15, with other options including cheese boards, gourmet scotch eggs, whipped feta flatbread and more.