See inside historic Mountain Daisy pub in Sunderland as it reopens under new management
Some much-needed TLC has been given to one of Sunderland’s most historic pubs as it reopens under new management.
For the first time since he got the keys in November 2020, new tenant Scott Allsopp has been able to pull pints behind the bar at the landmark pub, which is owned by Trust Inns.
After not being granted a pavement licence when beer gardens opened, Monday, May 17 was the first time the pub in Millfield could open its doors to punters after being closed since early 2020.
Scott took the opportunity in lockdown to spruce up the pub by repainting the walls, re-varnishing the tables and mahogany bar, polishing up the brass work, and giving it a cleaner, brighter look.
He’s also invested in equipment for the games room, including a new pool table, jukebox and TV, and he’s hoping to attract people back to the pub, which was once a main stop off on a drinking route along Hylton Road.
The first drinkers came back through the doors on Monday night and Scott says the feedback has been great so far.
"The first night back open had a great atmosphere,” he said. “We had people coming in who hadn’t been in the pub for years and they seemed to like how light and bright it is now. People were really complimentary of the staff, which is great to hear after lockdown, we’ve really appreciated the feedback.”
Scott ran a popular takeaway service from the pub during lockdown and he said the pizzas, loaded fries and burgers went down so well he’ll be keeping the food menu going.
The publican, who over the years has ran The Thorndale in Thorney Close and The Duke of Wellington in Pittington, said: “We want the younger ones to be able to come in and have a meal and we will be running lots of offers for a burger and a pint, as well as other offers.”
Scott is hoping to cater for a wide age range at the pub, from the Euro 2021 football tournament shown in the games room, to the function room upstairs which is free to hire to the quieter historic snug, which will be open during the usual pub times instead of by request, as it had been previously.
The latter is one of the pub’s finest features and the Grade II-listed site has been described by Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) as having “one of the most spectacular pub rooms anywhere in the country” thanks to the snug’s ceramic tiling, featuring local scenes such as Marsden Rock, Cragside and Durham Cathedral.
Previously valued at around a £1million, the Edwardian tiles by Craven Dunnill & Co are regarded as one of the finest examples of their kind.
The pub itself dates back to 1901 and was designed by local architects W. & T. R. Milburn who were also behind the Sunderland Empire’s design, as well as the neighbouring Dun Cow pub.
*The Mountain Daisy is open seven days a week, from 3pm to 11pm during the week and 12pm-12am at weekends, but hours will increase should there be the demand. Food is available 5pm-8.30pm during the week and 12pm-7.30pm at weekends.