See inside South Shields' Old Bank Pizza Co as new restaurant transforms landmark Barclays site at The Nook
A new pizza restaurant has transformed a landmark former bank unit on a busy shopping street.
The Old Bank Pizza Co has opened in the old Barclay’s Bank, which controversially closed its doors in The Nook in 2019, offering hand-stretched pizzas, starters, salads, desserts, wines, craft beers, spirits and draught beers.
It marks a new chapter for the site on the corner of Prince Edward Road, which is passed by thousands of people each day, and co-owner Debra Bond says customers can bank on a good pizza.
"We make our own dough, which we proof for 24 hours and we use the best ingredients, such as San Marzano tomato and Fior di latte cheese to really make sure we’re a cut above,” explained the businesswoman.
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A wood-fire pizza oven was specially-imported from Italy for the major refit of the site, which took around seven months.
"It was actually longer than we anticipated, but we really wanted to get this right,” said Debra. “The response so far has been even better than we expected and we’ve had incredible feedback from people in person, as well as on Facebook and Just Eat and we’re already in the top 1% of Just Eat reviews. It’s been a really encouraging start.
"It’s a busy shopping area here and people seem glad to see such a prime spot being used. The other traders have been really supportive too, and have been in for pizza.”
Speaking about the business’ inception, Debra, who’s from Seaburn in Sunderland, said: "I’d seen this concept work in London and Manchester and really wanted to bring it here, I had the idea of a window where you can see into the kitchen and this location was just perfect.”
The restaurant seats around 32 people with plans for outdoor seating at the site, which has created 10 new jobs for the area.
Due to the location being so well known, Debra said they felt the name The Old Bank Pizza Co was fitting.
“A relative actually suggested it and it was perfect,” she said. “So many people remember this unit from its days as a bank.”
The restaurant has been so busy since opening a couple of weeks ago that they’re increasing their opening hours to seven days a week.
From Monday, July 11, it will be open from 4pm to 9.30pm Monday to Friday and from 12noon until 9.30pm on weekends.
Food is also available for collection and delivery.
What’s on the menu
:: Pizza. There’s eight options altogether, but you can also add toppings. A classic margherita is £9.45. A spicy ndjua is £12.95. A white pizza (no tomato base) is £12.95.
::Kids Deal. A small pizza, scoop of ice cream and drink is £4.95.
::Starters. Starters include classic bruschetta: £5.95, sharing platter: £14.95 and garlic bread and nduja: £6.45.
::Desserts. Options include Nutella pizza: £6.95, Tiramisu: £5.95 and cannolo siciliano: £5.95.
::Drinks. Some of the drinks prices are £3.95 for a standard glass of Pinot Grigio or £17.95 a bottle. £3.95 for a pint of Grolsch on draught. £4.95 for a can of Camden Pale. £3.45 for a bottle of Corona.