See inside Sunderland's North restaurant after £250,000 transformation of old Seaburn storage shelter
Sunderland’s newest restaurant is set to make waves with its seafood offering after a £250,000 transformation of a disused storage shelter in Seaburn.
It’s been a major undertaking to breathe new life into the old storage unit at the far end of the promenade, but North is finally ready to open its doors.
Brought to the city by business partners Neil Bassett, Ben Wall and Paul Smiles, who are also behind the popular Mexico 70 in High Street West and the revival of The Ship Isis in Silksworth Row, North is opening as part of the wider Seafront Regeneration Scheme to make the most of empty seafront buildings, which has also seen the opening of Tin of Sardines in the former toilet block and tram shed in Pier View, Roker.
It will be Sunderland’s only seafood restaurant, chippies aside, and Ben says they’re looking forward to bringing something different to their home city.
"It’s been two years of renovation works starting with a shell of a building, which didn’t even have gas, but we’re really looking forward to welcoming people in this weekend. We don’t want to replicate what others are doing, we want to offer something different.” said Ben.
The businessman, who also operates Independent nightclub in Holmeside, said: "There’s been so much anticipation, especially from all the dog walkers who walk past and have been looking through the windows at the progress. We want this to be a great place for people to come and enjoy a great glass of wine in South Bents.
"There can’t be many restaurants in the whole country with a view like this, just a metre from the beach.”
Creating nine new jobs for the city so far, North will open this weekend on Friday, December 16, and Saturday from 5pm-9pm, with around 30 covers, for drinks and snacks, such as charcuterie boards, Mezcal-cured salmon, breads and dips, to whet people’s appetites before it opens for its full menu on January 4. It’s walk ins only.
Thereafter, it will be open from Tuesday to Saturday on evenings only, but opening hours will increase once the weather gets warmer. They also have a licence to serve drinks outside at the end of the promenade itself.
The main menu will be modern seafood and small plates, with a quarter of the menu dedicated to vegan and vegetarian options. Sample dishes include:
::Bouillabaisse with red bream, monkfish and mussels
::Octopus with confit potato and piquillo pepper and paprika
::Scallops with chorizo and black pudding
Drinks-wise, there will a range of cocktails, natural wines and draught options, starting from £5 a glass.
Also as part of the seafront scheme, work will begin early next year at the old Victorian tram shelter at the edge of Cliffe Park in Seaburn, which is being turned into an eaterie serving brunches and small plates by Blacks Corner, with an estimated opening date of autumn.
Meanwhile, the team at Vaux Brewery are looking to open a new beachfront bar in the old shelter in Marine Walk, Roker, by summer 2023.
Income generated from the leases of the buildings will help support the Sunderland Seafront Trust.
The trust operates the Roker Pier and Lighthouse tours and lease income will help it deliver seafront events and activities.