'This really is Sunderland's best attraction' - seafront venues welcome customers back for a pint in the sun

Pub-goers raised a glass to pints in the sunshine as seafront venues reopened their outdoor spaces.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 4:54 pm
Seafront businesses back open for sit in drinking and dining

From families with dogs to friends meeting for a catch up, there was plenty of people enjoying the chance to finally sit outdoors as pubs, cafes and restaurants welcomed back customers.

Friends Mollie Lucas, Sophie Scott and Grace Ball, all 18 and from South Shields, were among the first to visit Stack Seaburn as the £3million seafront venue was able to open for sit-in dining for the first time since November 5.

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Stack Seaburn reopens on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules. Friends Mollie Lucas, Sophie Scott and Grace Ball.

Mollie said: “We went on the Stack site as soon as bookings went live and this was the only table we could get. It’s just great to be out with friends.”

Sophie said: “It’s been a tough year and it’s so important for people’s mental health to be able to socialise again.”

Claire Redpath, from Biddick Woods, was out for a dog walk with daughter Erin, 12, and Benny the beagle when they decided to call in at Stack.

She said: “It’s great to be sat here in the sun. You keep thinking ‘wow, we’re not at home anymore.’ It’s great to have a dog friendly venue like this here.”

Stack Seaburn reopens on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules. Claire Redpath with daughter Erin, 12 and Benny the dog.

Gemma Dishman, marketing and special projects manager at Danieli Holdings who own Stack, said: “It’s great to see people socialising and for them to be able to come in with their dogs, or meet friends, in a safe environment.”

At The Promenade, customers have been keen to get back to its two beer gardens, at the front and rear of the seafront pub.

Rob O’Donoghue, manager at The Promenade said: “We have two outdoor areas for both bookings and walk ups and people have been really happy to be back. The most popular days for bookings are today and Saturday. I just can’t wait until restrictions are lifted totally.”

At Poetic License in the Roker, they’ve created a huge beer garden overlooking the coast to cater for Let There Be Crumbs customers, as well as drinkers.

Stack Seaburn reopens on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules.

Operations director Jonny Graham said: “We’re doing 50% bookings and 50% walk ups. It’s been a really good atmosphere so far. Hopefully this is just the first stage of reopening and in June we can get back to normal.

“We’re back open now and we just hope we get the support we need. Your big corporations, your Asdas, your Amazons, have benefited hugely from the lockdown. The little guys have had some support, but we need to be back trading again. Hopefully this will be start of a good summer on the seafront. There’s lots of new places opening up and it really is Sunderland’s best attraction.”

It isn’t just the pubs who’ve welcomed people back: coffee shops were also able to reopen their outdoor seating and there was some happy faces enjoying a brew with a view at Funky Beach in Seaburn.

Funky Beach owner Donna O’Brien said: “We’ve been lucky in that we’ve been able to open for take out, but it is nice to be serving people again.

Stack Seaburn reopens on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules.

"It is a bit of a juggling act with the track and trace and seating people with waitress service, but we’re looking forward to a good summer here. There’s a lot of new businesses opening along the seafront and it’s great that we all offer something different for people.”

Meanwhile, in the city centre punters also flocked to the Cooper Rose and The Manor to enjoy a pint.

Ian Henderson from Hylton Castle was queuing outside of the Cooper Rose on Albion Place.

The 37-year-old North East Ambulance Service driver said: “I am excited for a pint but I haven’t had the chance to really think about with being at work throughout the pandemic.

“It’s good to see everything open again and I know everyone is frustrated with the situation but people still need to be careful, it’s not the end of it yet.”

Owner of The Manor on Foyle Street, Michael Griffiths commented: “It hasn’t been bad so far, a bit chilly outside, it’s a shame the sun isn’t shining but we’re glad to get open as it has been a long few months for the trade.

The Promenade, Seaburn reopens on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules. Manager Rob O'Donoghue.

“We are now looking forward to May to get people inside and start planning for the second bank holiday weekend.”

Husband and wife Keith, 54, and Linda Steinle, 58 from Hendon were excited for a change of scenery following lockdown.

Keith said: "It will be nice to have a pint in a pub after having nowhere to go for so long.

“It’s not the same having a drink in the house, there’s no atmosphere like you get in a pub.”

Linda added: “I wouldn’t say that I’m excited but it’s a change after being stuck in the house for so long, I’m over the moon to see everything open again.”

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Poetic License reopens with a new beer garden on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules. Operations director Jonny Graham.
Funky Beach owner Donna O'Brien and her team at Seaburn Promenade new seating area following new relaxed rules for the hospitality sector.
Poetic License reopens with a new beer garden on the first day with the new outdoor hospitality rules.
Ian Henderson from Hylton Castle was queuing outside of the Cooper Rose
Michael Griffiths owner of The Manor on Foyle Street, Sunderland.
Husband and wife Keith, 54, and Linda Steinle, 58 from Hendon.