Opening date revealed for The Botanist in Sunderland's Keel Square

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Signage has gone up in Keel Square.

It's been a long time coming, but a rough opening date has finally been announced for The Botanist in Sunderland, after it was first revealed the bar was heading to the city in August 2022.

The Botanist is heading to Keel SquareThe Botanist is heading to Keel Square
The Botanist is heading to Keel Square | Sunderland Echo

There's been much anticipation about when the national chain, which is owned by New World Trading Company Ltd, would open its doors in the new units beneath the Holiday Inn in Keel Square.

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And, over the weekend, signage went up at The Botanist, with a QR code for its website saying it's due to open in early 2024, stating bookings would open soon.

Signage has gone up at Keel SquareSignage has gone up at Keel Square
Signage has gone up at Keel Square | Sunderland Echo

In the meantime, work is forging ahead on its neighbour, The Keel Tavern, which is in the midst of its fit out with a view to open in November.

It's being brought to the city by The Vaulkhard Group, who own some of Newcastle’s most-popular bars including Barluga, Town Wall, Bridge Tavern, Redhouse, Beehive, Bealim House and more, as well as bars in Gosforth and Northumberland.

The opening of The Keel Tavern this month will be the group’s 19th opening – and their first south of the Tyne.

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Both The Botanist and The Keel Tavern have been given permission for outdoor seating, which will help breathe new life into the public square.

The third corner unit, one of four built beneath the Holiday Inn, is also expected to be a bar.

It's believed the fourth, which faces on to High Street West, will be retail.

Construction has also started on the nearby Culture House which faces on to Keel Square on the site of the old Corner Flag / Annabel's / Luciano's unit.

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The building will house a new city centre library, as well as offering immersive exhibitions and creative space. It has also been mooted as a potential new home for the National Glass Centre collection after it was announced that the current NGC building would close.

It's set to open in 2025.

The Propellor artwork which was installed when Keel Square was regenerated but suffered vandalism - will be repaired in anticipation of the building opening, and surrounding landscaping works undertaken. 

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