Sneak peek at The Tram Shelter as bookings go live at Sunderland landmark
The seafront landmark has been brought back to life.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Diners will soon be able to take a seat in The Tram Shelter as the local landmark prepares to open its doors after a major transformation.
The finishing touches are being made to the Victorian structure, which ceased being used as a tram shelter in the 1950s, ready for it entering a new chapter as a bar and restaurant.
From December 1, it will be serving up a selection of farmhouse cheeses, charcuterie, seafood dishes and more, as well as natural wines and a range of beers.
The transformation has been a real labour of love for the team at Blacks Corner, who've had great success with their original restaurant and deli in East Boldon.
Much like the Blacks Corner site, The Tram Shelter honours the heritage of the site and the original pine panelling from the shelter has been dipped, stripped and repurposed for the new venture.
Even the original iron supports and old benches from the shelter will be put back into use and used in the new seating area outside.
As well as being restaurateurs, the Blacks Corner team do their own construction and they've paid an incredible amount of detail to the fit out, including laying a 200-year terracotta parquet floor, installing a marble counter and replicating the white picket fencing which once surrounded the shelter in the early 1900s.
Even the bin store is housed in a beach hut, so as not to detract from the appearance of the area.
They will also be planting Red Hot Poker plants on the land in front of the shelter after Seaburn residents remembered seeing them there in the past.
The booking system to reserve a table goes live at 5pm on Monday, November 13 at www.blackscorner.co.uk and owners Jonny Dryden and Chris Lowden say they can't wait to finally welcome the community through the doors.
Jonny said: "Much like Blacks Corner, heritage and community has been such an important part of this project.
"But we have to have a point of difference to the original Blacks Corner at The Tram Shelter that's respectful of the community. While inside has a Blacks Corner offering, the outside is for everyone to walk past and enjoy."
The team has been collecting rare tram paraphernalia which will be used to dress the site in the coming days and they are also asking for people's memories and stories of the site for consideration for a history board, which will be installed outside.
"We have been using the seafront grant as part of the project, so each design feature has to be justified and we've done everything with a high level of craftmanship," added Jonny. "We've created something that will last another 100 years."
For the past few months, Blacks Corner has been serving coffees and snacks from its airstream trailer at the front of the site to get to know the community.
Once open, The Tram Shelter will have around 30 covers inside and space for another 30 plus outside, with a mixture of reserved seating as well as walk-ins, subject to availability.
There will also be a hatch serving takeaway coffees, sandwiches and more.
Moving forward, the outside area, which will be completed in time for opening, will also be available for private hire.
The Tram Shelter is one of three historic buildings, including North and Tin of Sardines, that have been revamped as part of a £850,000 investment from Sunderland City Council and The Coastal Communities Fund.
The conversion of the old heritage building is part of a wider programme of transformation at Seaburn and Roker, with the council having spent more than £10m on improvements over recent years.
- Anyone with memories and stories of The Tram Shelter can email them to [email protected]
The Tram Shelter, Seaburn, will be closed Mondays, and open for sit in Tuesdays 9am-4pm, Wednesday and Thursday 9am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 9am - 11pm and Sundays 11am to 8pm.