First look inside Sunderland's new These Things Happen bar
It's all happening in Roker as the seafront welcomes its newest bar.
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It's taken a £1.2million investment and months of building works at the late nineteenth century building, but These Things Happen welcomes its first customers today, September 16, after transforming the former Harbour View Motors site in Roker.
Businessman Walter Veti's family have owned the site since the 1990s and it has long been their intention to bring something new to the seafront after the motor business closed five years ago.
Their hard work has paid off with the creation of a new bar over two levels, as well as the creation of a balcony area to make the most of the views of the Marina and beyond.
There was some delays to their planned opening night on Friday, September, 15, but Walter says it's great to finally welcome the bar's first customers.
"It's great to finally be open and show people what we've done," said Walter, who also owns The Saltgrass in Deptford. "The upstairs isn't quite ready yet, but that should be open too in the next week or so.
"Like any new pub, there's been so much interest in the bar, everyone wants to see how it looks and people have been looking through the windows as we've been working on it.
"We've not had one negative comment so far, I think people are glad to see an old empty building being utilised, and being done to a high standard."
These Things Happen will be open again from 12noon on Sunday and then from seven days a week.
It's just drinks for now while the menu is finalised, but food will be served from the end of the week with options such as burgers, steaks, prawns and mussels from local suppliers.
Drinks-wise, there's a broad range of wines, spirits, cocktails, mocktails, soft drinks, teas and coffees, with draught options including Salt beers, Blue Moon, Caffreys, Guinness, Erdinger Weiss, Madri, Staropramen and more.
Sky Sports will also soon be installed.
Interior design firm, the award-winning Collective Design, who are behind the interiors of successful North East bars such as Pleased to Meet You, Stack, Hibou Blanc and The Muddler, have been working hard on the bar’s aesthetic which merges industrial with heritage-inspired features, including a nod to its old use with a "Fuel Station" sign.
Local artist Bobzilla has also created a temporary mural on the bar until tiles arrive to be fitted.
These Things Happen, which is named after the common phrase Walter and his mates often use amongst themselves, also has a firm focus on music.
The music policy will feature soul, funk, disco and house with DJ sets across the opening weekend from Jimi Dingwall and Cafe Mambo Ibiza resident Ryan McDermott.
The bar will also host live music moving forward.
Sections of the bar will also be dog-friendly to cater for those out for a walk along the seafront.
Other recent additions to Roker include Ruhe coffee shop, which has proved a popular addition to Roker Park.
This year will also see the opening of a sister site to East Boldon bistro Blacks Corner, with work ongoing at the old tram shelter in Seaburn.
Plans are also still in place to create a beachfront bar at the old shelter in Marine Walk which will be brought to the city by the same team as Vaux Brewery.