New York-style pizza slices and takeaway pints to be served from Seaham pub hatch
A new Seaham venture will be serving up a slice of New York as the town gears up for the return of visitors this summer.
Business partners Andy Smith and Mark Milroy have already had success in transforming a former barbers in Church Street into The Coalface micro pub.
Now, they’re utilising former storage space at the rear of the building to create a kitchen and pizza hatch, where people will be able to pick up pizza slices, priced £2.50, and takeaway pints, which are permitted again from April 12.
The new venture, named Slice, will open in the coming weeks and specialises in 20-inch thin crust New York-style pizzas, which are designed to be eaten folded whilst on the go.
Due to the size of the pub, it won’t be reopening until May 17, but the businessmen says this is a great way to keep their customers well fuelled until both sides of the business can run in tandem.
Andy, who perfected his skills making wood-fired pizzas for friends and family, said: “The hatch is in a great spot with plenty of people passing, as well as free parking. The pizzas are supposed to be quick slices to grab on the go. But if someone wanted to buy the whole 20-inch pizza they could.”
Speaking about The Coalface, which opened on Good Friday in 2019, he said: “The pub got off to a great start and everyone seemed to love the entertainment, especially the buskers night.
"The pub is limited to how many it can serve, however, as we can only get around 30 people in there. We always wanted to serve food and lockdown gave us the chance to adapt with the hatch.”
Slice will initially open from Thursday to Sunday, but times will change depending on demand. They’re also in talks with other businesses to host guest nights where people can tuck into food from fellow independent businesses served from the hatch.
Andy said: “There’s been so much interest already. When we’ve been working on the hatch people have been coming up, getting their wallet out and asking if they can buy something.”
The partners, who are looking to recruit staff, are also working on transforming the upstairs rooms at the building into an Air B’n’B to cater for the staycation market which is set to boom this summer as the country eases out of lockdown.
Mark, who also runs The Lookout coffee shop in Seaham Marina, says the town is looking forward to welcoming visitors back.
"We’ve had so much local support during the pandemic and we are so looking forward to seeing our regulars again. Some of our customers we’ve been serving for eight years and they really miss that social side,” said Mark, whose Lookout business will open for outdoor seating from April 12.
He added: “But we’re also looking forward to seeing visitors in the town again. There’s a lot of demand for holidaying in Britain this year and we’re looking forward to a good summer in Seaham.”
*The Lookout opens for outdoor dining from April 12 and tables will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Look out for updates on Slice opening.