New Coffee 57 coffee shop opens in heart of Sunderland city centre regeneration area

A new coffee shop is hoping to brew up a recipe for success at the heart of the city centre’s ongoing regeneration.

Coffee 57, named after its address of 57 High Street West, has opened its doors a stone’s throw from Keel Square, serving speciality hot and cold coffees and cakes from city bakeries including Mullers.

Coffee shop owners Trevor Mitchell and Michael Johnson have completely transformed the unit, which they formerly ran as BodyZone, to create the new coffee hot spot.

BodyZone, a health and fitness shop, had operated in the city for decades, but Trevor said the move to online retail, and lockdown, had affected sales to the point where they needed to adapt.

Coffee 57 has opened in High Street West

"We originally opened as Workout World in Crowtree Road in 1997 before the expansion of The Bridges led to us moving to Holmeside as BodyZone and then to High Street West,” explained Trevor.

"Over the years, we’ve faced a number of challenges and trade has gradually stepped off, then lockdown finished us off because it forced those people who preferred to shop in person to go online.

"Me and Michael are best mates and are always in coffee shops. We were sitting in a coffee shop thinking about what we could do with the unit, and then it came to us to open a coffee shop.”

The pair have given new life to the unit themselves with local artwork, LED lights and feature wallpaper to create a coffee shop that seats 14 people indoors and a further four outside.

The old BodyZone unit has been completely transformed

Work is still ongoing on the site, including new signage and an awning, but just three weeks after opening, Trevor said they’re getting a great response from customers.

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"The response has been brilliant,” he said. “We’re not quite where we want to be yet, but we’re not far off. We use Tiziano coffee, which is a nice, easy to drink coffee, and people really like it.”

Coffee 57 lies in the shadow of major regeneration works in the city. It’s one unit away from the new £18million Holiday Inn hotel, which is set to open soon.

New coffee shop, Coffee 57 opens its doors on High Street West. Owners from left Michael 'Robbie' Johnson and Trevor Mitchell.

As part of the new development, four large hospitality units have been created on the ground floor, which will welcome The Botanist, as well as three other established brands which are soon to be announced.

Over the road, demolition work has started on the old Luciano’s and Annabel’s site which will make way for the new £27million Culture House. The new community hub, which will include a state-of-the-art library, is expected to open in 2024 and it is anticipated that 500,000 people will visit each year.

And on the other side of St Mary’s Way, work is forging ahead on the £500m Riverside development, hailed as the country’s most-ambitious regeneration project, which spans both sides of the River Wear, comprising of offices, leisure space, homes, a new location for the Eye Infirmary, a multi-storey carpark and a new pedestrian bridge.

Trevor said: “Sunderland has always been in the shadow of Newcastle, but it’s great to see all the developments taking place, it’s going to be brilliant for the area and for city centre businesses.”

New coffee shop, Coffee 57 opens its doors on High Street West.

:: Coffee 57 is open 9.30am – 4pm Monday to Saturday and 11am – 3pm on Sundays.

New coffee shop, Coffee 57 opens its doors on High Street West.
New coffee shop, Coffee 57 opens its doors on High Street West.
New coffee shop, Coffee 57 opens its doors on High Street West.