The former Martino’s restaurant closed its doors at the end of October
Now, the owners of the building, Jet Leisure, have reopened the prime site at the bottom of Dykelands Road with a new identity.
The creation of Prego has seen the site undergo a major makeover of its bar and restaurant areas with neon signs, pink and floral feature walls and a new look games room with shuffleboards and electronic dart boards, which will be joined by retro arcade games in the coming weeks.
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Jet Leisure have previously leased out the site, but decided to set up their own restaurant due to its importance in their property portfolio.
The site has been part of the family-run leisure firm for decades and director Solomon Reader, who runs the firm with brother Gavin, says they felt strongly about keeping it in the family business, especially after their father Kenneth, who founded Jet Leisure, passed away at the end of last year.
Prego opened with a soft launch this week for walk-ins, with bookings open from February 28. But, despite a low-key opening, the bar has already seen plenty of custom from people keen to check out the new look.
David Welsh, operations manager at Prego, said: “There’s been so much interest in the site, and a lot of excitement, which has been so promising for us. We really wanted to get this right for people.
"I don’t think we realised just how much of a miss the site has been, but we’ve had messages from people who’ve been coming here for years. It’s a great location in Seaburn, with the corner spot and a lot of visibility for people. People noticed the new signs going up and we’ve had so much custom already, just from natural footfall.
"There’s so much on offer in Seaburn for people now and Stack is a great addition, but we offer something a bit different as we’re a bigger space for people who want to dine indoors.”
Jet Leisure worked with Studio One Design for the design of the bar.
"We really wanted to make a statement with the new look, and Studio One have done a great job,” said David. “We wanted to create a good bar ambience so that it can stand alone as a bar in its own right, and not just as a restaurant.
"The site has great natural sunlight, which floods in during the day, but the neon signs and LED lighting help to give it a great look at night, too.”
More than 20 jobs have been created with the new restaurant, which will also be giving its outdoor area a makeover in time for summer.
New food development manager and head chef Mo Abraham was previously at Harry’s Bar in Newcastle, but said he relished the chance to bring something new to Seaburn.
"This is a great site and as soon as I saw it I knew there was so much potential,” he said. “The food is really soulful and everything is made fresh, including our pizza dough which we cold ferment for 24 hours."