Spot White opens in former Sunderland Pizza Hut as city centre building gets its 'big break' with new late-night pool and snooker hall

A new city centre business is giving a big break to an empty building.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 1:45 pm

Spot White has completely transformed the corner site in Waterloo Place into a late-night snooker and pool hall where you can pot the black until 5am seven days a week.

The large unit has stood empty for a number of years after previously operating as a pound shop and the long-gone Pizza Hut.

Spot White’s investment in the city centre, which has created 16 new jobs so far, is a sister site to the successful Spot White in Stowell Street, Newcastle, which has built up a firm following.

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The new Spot White at Waterloo Place, Sunderland city centre

The owners first viewed the Sunderland site in January 2019, with the opening delayed due to Covid.

After a month of trading, operations manager Ann Walls says they’re delighted with the response so far with 1,200 members already signed up and teams in the local pool league.

"Spot White has been a really popular concept in Newcastle, and is more popular than ever after Lockdown,” she explained.

“We’ve wanted to open in Sunderland for a while and, after Covid delays, it’s fantastic to finally be open.

The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.

"I’m from the area and remember having my birthday parties in the old Pizza Hut in front of the big circular windows. The building has been empty for at least five, six years so it’s great to have it in use once more.

"When we looked into the site we looked at all the proposals for the developments in this area, especially the new train station entrance which will help transform this side of the city centre. Things will only get better if people invest.”

She added: “We’ve had a really good mix of people in, from people who used to come from Sunderland to visit us in Newcastle to new members.”

The venue features six standard American pool tables, two English pool tables, two snooker tables and two Predator tables from the World Championships which people have been travelling to use from as far afield as Leeds.

The new business has transformed the once empty unit on the corner of Waterloo Place

There’s also private games rooms which can be hired for parties and events, two bars with a substantial range of drinks and a full menu, served until 4.30am serving food such as wraps, sharing platters, hot dogs, pizzas, kebabs and light bites.

Visitors can also enjoy live sports on the big screens.

Owner Adam Goldstone said: “What we’ve done successfully in Newcastle is to run the venue as a non-social social club where everyone feels welcome.

"A lot of our customers are international students because they know this is a safe place to be late at night. We’re also supportive of the LGBQT community and are looking to run events on Tuesday nights called Tuesgays.

The venue has two floors of pool and snooker tables

"It’s not a place to get hammered and we don’t admit people if they are too drunk, it’s an alternative place to come and relax late at night, whether it’s playing pool, sitting at the bar, listening to the jukeboxes or playing chess.”

As an introductory offer, people can become members for free until the end of September. After that, it’s £20 a year. Spot White is open 11am to 5am seven days a week and is members only after 8pm.

Spot White is the latest new business to transform an empty building at this end of the city centre. In recent months, Proven People opened in Burdon Road and the former Hills store in Waterloo Place is being transformed into a multi-purpose arts and community space.

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Art works adorn the walls
The site has two bars
Adam Goldstone, owner of Spot White
The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.
The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.
The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.
The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.
The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.
The Spot White snooker hall, Waterloo Place, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID.