See inside the new Sunderland coffee shop with some of the best views in the city

Fancy a brew with a view?

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:33 pm

A new coffee shop has opened its doors at Ashbrooke Sports Club as the historic sports ground prepares to ease out of Lockdown.

After Italian restaurant Diego’s moved to the Victoria Gardens pub, the new management team at the sports club decided to keep the room, which had previously been used by restaurateurs on a lease basis, in house and teamed up with existing members of staff to provide a new service in the area.

Noticing a gap in the market for a coffee shop in Ashbrooke, Emma Duncan and Becci Wake, who previously worked in the club’s bar, came up with the idea of turning the former restaurant into a coffee shop.

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The new Vista coffee shop at Ashbrooke Sports Ground, which is being run by Emma Duncan, pictured, and Becci Wake.

It opened as Vista this week, named after the views, which are one of the greenest in the city.

The coffee shop, which has been given a bright new look and has artworks for sale by Sunderland Art Club on the walls, is initially open for takeaway but will open for sit in cuppas and light bites from May 17.

In the meantime, people will be able to take their coffees and cakes onto the terrace from April 12, as well as outdoor drinks available from the bar next door.

Emma said: “We sat down at Christmas with Jeff (from the management team) and had a think about what we thought would really benefit the club in this space, rather than another restaurant.

Emma Duncan says they've had a great response so far

"Ashbrooke is lacking in coffee shops for such a big area. There’s lots of walkers around here and people doing the school run, so we felt it would be an ideal location for a coffee shop.

"We’re starting off slowly with take away coffees and cakes, but we’ll expand the range as we go on and we’re open to suggestions too.”

Despite the coffee shop only being open for a couple of days, Emma says the feedback has been positive already.

"We’ve been really pleased with the response so far and we’ve had quite a lot of customers already,” said Emma. “People are really trying to support local more at the minute and are using local businesses on their doorstep a lot more.”

The coffee shop also sells a selection of cakes

Jeff Stoker, from the Ashbrooke Sports Club management team, said: “It’s early days, but once the gym reopens and sports can resume, it will be a great place for people to come after classes or for parents to sit and have a coffee when the kids are playing sports.

"We have a five year plan with the club and we’re really trying to make it more inclusive and to make it appeal to non-members, as well as people who are members of the sports club side. We want to play a bigger part in the community and broaden our offering, while also respecting the history of the club.

“We have great views here over one of the best pitches for cricket in the county, but some people in the city still haven’t been here. We’re one of the city’s best kept secrets.”

*Vista at Ashbrooke Sports Club is open 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm on Saturdays and 9.30am to 2pm on Sundays.

The coffee shop is in the room that used to be Diego's

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People will be able to sit in from May 17
There's a range of coffees on offer
The coffee shop is open seven days a week