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New Italian restaurant Topo Gigio opens as popular Sunderland pub The Victoria Gardens expands

A new restaurant is serving up a slice of Italy as part of a popular pub’s expansion.

Friday, 8th April 2022, 2:12 pm

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Topo Gigio, named after a mouse from a popular Italian children’s TV show, has opened at The Victoria Gardens pub as it increases its offering.

The restaurant replaces the former Diego’s at the Grangetown pub and joins new Airbnb rooms, which has also been added to the large site.

Landlady Helen Maddison, who took over the well-known pub a couple of years ago, said Topo Gigio was already being well received by punters.

The new Topo Gigio Italian restaurant at the Victoria Gardens. Superviser Andrea Curry.

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"We’ve had a lot of new customers recently, which is fantastic,” she said. “Food hadn’t always done well at the pub in previous years, but it’s becoming more known for that now, and it’s getting busier and busier."

Bookings have also been flying in for the Airbnb rooms, with two double rooms, two twin rooms and a shared bathroom and kitchen area upstairs at the pub.

Helen said she hadn’t realised how in demand serviced apartments would be.

"It’s only been listed for a few weeks, but most weekends have been fully booked out,” she explained. “We’ve had lots of people who are up for the matches as well as lots of enquiries for bookings to coincide with big events such as the Ed Sheeran concert and Great North Run. It’s an easy walk into town from here so it’s a good location.”

The new Topo Gigio Italian restaurant at the Victoria Gardens.

As the weather improves, people will be able to enjoy the Topo Gigio food al fresco in the beer garden to the front of the pub, as well as the new large one at the rear, which was created last year to coincide with pubs reopening as restrictions eased.

"Lockdown forced our hand to utilise the outdoor space at the pub and it proved really popular last year,” said Helen. “It’s a great space and we have more music events planned for this summer.”

Topo Gigio runs at The Victoria Gardens Monday to Friday from 5pm-9pm, Saturday from 2pm to 10pm and Sunday noon until 4pm.

Proving popular already is the steak night which runs on Thursdays from 5pm to 9pm and features a starter, steak and drink for two for £24.95.

The new Topo Gigio Italian restaurant at the Victoria Gardens. Superviser Andrea Curry.

Other offers include a happy hour which runs Monday to Friday 5pm to 7pm and Saturday 2pm to 6pm where you can pick up three courses for £10.95.

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Airbnb accommodation at the Victoria Gardens.
The new Topo Gigio Italian restaurant at the Victoria Gardens.