Popular Sunderland pub to host fan zone for Euro 2021 tournament with pizzas and pints

Football fever will take over a city pub when it hosts a fan zone for this summer’s Euro 2021 tournament.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 4:55 am
Victoria Gardens owner Helen Maddison in the new beer garden.

The Victoria Gardens in Grangetown has already created a large beer garden at the rear of the pub to cater for people returning to pubs.

Now the space, which can hold up to 400 people, will be installed with a huge outdoor screen and a new outdoor bar to create a fan zone for this summer’s Euros tournament.

The Euro 2020 competition has had to take place a year later than originally planned, but it’s still set to be a hotly-fought contest with twenty-four teams playing across 51 matches in 11 cities around Europe between June 11 and July 11, 2021.

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A bar will be created in the container, with a huge screen on top

Publican Helen Maddison also helped to organise the Sunniside fan zone for the 2018 World Cup and she’s looking forward to bringing a fan zone to the local pub, albeit on a smaller scale.

"I haven’t noticed anyone doing a fan zone in town for this year’s tournament, so I thought it would be great to do something here as we have so much space,” said Helen.

She added: "It will be a different atmosphere to the Sunniside fan zone as we’re more of a family-oriented pub so we’re hoping people will be able to come down with the kids to watch the match and enjoy a pizza and a pint.”

During the last Lockdown, popular Italian restaurant Diego’s moved into the pub from its original base at Ashbrooke Sports Club. The food has been going down a storm with punters returning to the pub after restrictions eased, and people will be able to order its range of classic Italian dishes from the fan zone.

Victoria Gardens new beer garden.

A new outdoor bar selling draught beers, called Brucey Bulldog’s after Helen’s dog, will also be in place. And when the football matches aren’t on, the big screen will be used to show films.

Speaking about how business has been after reopening, Helen said: “The outdoor areas have been really popular and, even though people can sit inside now, a lot really like outside drinking.

"It’s also helped bring a lot of younger people to the pub, so we’re getting a good age range in. We have an app for ordering drinks outside and that’s worked really well.”

*Victoria Gardens is open 4pm-11pm during the week and 12pm-12am on weekends. Food is available from Diego’s between 5pm and 8.30pm. No need to book.

The outdoor bar will be named after pub mascot Bruce the bulldog

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The beer garden has covered seating