How Stack will open properly for the first time when restrictions lift on July 19
It’s been one of the city’s biggest hospitality success stories – but only now will Sunderland get to enjoy the Stack Seaburn experience as it was intended.
The £3million leisure development on the site of the former Seaburn Centre was planned long before the pandemic and after delays due to Covid, opened its doors for the first time in September 2020.
Like its smaller sister site in Newcastle, the shipping container village was designed to be a purely walk-up venue. But, due to social distancing, it had to introduce a booking system and more than half its capacity from 2,000 to 600.
Now, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that restrictions are set to lift from July 19, Stack can finally open as it was intended.
From that date the new seafront landmark will accommodate up to 2,000 people including seating and standing areas.
It will be walk in only, so there will be no need to book ahead.
Table service will no longer be available and all drinks must be purchased from the bars. You can still use the W8R app for street food, but you can also walk up and order from the hatches. Those using the app will get a push notification to alert them when their order is ready to collect from the vendor.
Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Leisure, which owns and operates both Stack sites, said: “We are looking forward to getting back to normal and operating the venue as it was intended – without table service or pre-booked benches and with lots of live entertainment.
“The staff have had a very difficult job over the past year, having to police our customers and dampen their spirits because of the restrictions.
“This isn’t the type of atmosphere we had become known for, we want people to come and have a good sing and dance with friends and family, so the lifting of restrictions is so important to us.”
Neill added, “Although our venues can accommodate a large number of people, we hope that our customers will continue to feel safe visiting in larger crowds due to the fact both STACKs are open air venues which is a huge benefit and ensures we have good air circulation.”
One of the first large-scale events to be held when restrictions are lifted is Kroud Karaoke, a mass singalong event, on Saturday, July 24, which is free to attend.
Despite opening under a limited capacity, Stack has still proved a popular addition to the seafront and in its first 10 weeks of opening last year, welcomed 100,000 people through its doors.
The venue is an important element to the wider seafront regeneration scheme which is aimed at enhancing the seafront for Wearsiders, whilst also making it a tourist destination to help boost the local economy.
Other key developments in the scheme include the £6million Seaburn Inn, which opened last month, as well as a number of ongoing projects, including the transformation of the old toilet block in Roker into a gin bar and the former shelter in Seaburn promenade being turned into a seafood restaurant.