First look inside Sunderland's stunning new Tarantino's restaurant ahead of opening day
A new city restaurant named after one of the world’s most famous film directors is hoping to be a real blockbuster.
Tarantino’s has completely transformed the former Bear & Natural Kitchen in North Bridge Street, Monkwearmouth, and is a sister site to the hugely-popular Pulp Kitchen cafe in Red House.
Both are the brainchild of Sunderland businesswoman Jolene Casey who, after long having a passion for food and hospitality, created a Tartantino-themed brand to bring something a bit different to her home city.
The new 38-cover restaurant has been a real labour of love and has taken nine months of renovation works by tradesman Nesta Bowman, and Jolene says she’s delighted to see her dreams become a reality.
"I wanted to create a home from home for people, somewhere people feel comfortable and can come as they are,” she said. “Pulp Kitchen has been really popular, especially during the lockdowns for takeaway food, and I wanted to build on that success to create a restaurant.
"Often when I eat out I’ll ask to be moved three, four times because I don’t like the seat or the atmosphere. If something isn’t right in hospitality it ruins the whole experience, so with Tarantino’s I’ve created something that’s got it all: great seating, food, service and decor.
“I want people to enjoy every single moment of being in this place.”
Tarantino’s welcomed its first guests for a friends and family night this week, but will open to the public from next Monday, serving everything from breakfasts through to evening meals.
Speaking about people’s reaction to the decor, which features plush seating, hanging foliage, faux furs, ceramic leopards, a wine room and more, Jolene said: “I’ve never had such good feedback from anything I’ve done, people were blown away. I’’m so proud of the staff and what they’ve pulled out of the bag.”
Tarantino’s has created seven new jobs, with more to come. There are also training opportunities for people with learning difficulties, or those who struggle to find employment, to help put people on a pathway to a career.
Jolene said: “I’m a girl from a council estate and I want to help people who struggle with employment, I want to give them a chance when others don’t.”
The business uses local suppliers for its dishes, including Pallion Fruiterers, MH Seafood and Young’s Quality Food catering division, and Stephen Beaumont, for the meats.
More menu details will be released in the coming days but people can expect options such as mussels, oysters, king crab and a surf ‘n’ turf combo called The Dirty Harry that includes a huge tomahawk steak, lobster, onion rings and triple cooked chips.
The finishing touches are still being made to the restaurant including a sign and a private dining room at the rear of the restaurant. One of the only private dining rooms in the area, it will hold 14 people and can be booked with food and decor themed around everything from a Thai night to a Wild West night.
Jolene says the location of the site, which has free parking at the rear, is also ideal.
"There’s lots of investment in the city at the minute, and I’d love to see this place become a foodie destination street, it certainly has the potential,” she said.
Due to its location near the stadium, the restaurant will also be open for drinks, burgers and hot dogs on match days.
*Tarantino’s will open from Monday, November 8. After that it will be open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 11pm.