Stack can't wait to welcome people back as it gears up for big reopening on Monday, April 12

Stack is back – and its owners say they can’t wait for people to enjoy themselves once more at the seafront venue.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 7:00 am

From 10am on Monday, April 12, Stack Seaburn will be among the outdoor spaces in the city reopening its doors to the public in line with the Government’s roadmap to ease the country out of Lockdown.

As one of the city’s largest beer gardens, it’s amongst the most eagerly-awaited reopenings with thousands of people booked to attend in its first few weeks.

At one point, as bookings went live, 6,000 people were trying to book the same tables, and the first two weeks of reopening were booked out in an hour and a half.

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Stack Seaburn is looking forward to welcoming people back
Stack Seaburn is looking forward to welcoming people back

Due to the North East being placed in the then Tier 3, Stack has not been open for sit-in dining since November 5, with a limited number of traders running a click & collect service since then, which may continue should there be the demand.

"We are eager as anything to let people back in,” said Gemma Dishman, Marketing & Special Projects Manager for Danieli Holdings who own Stack.

Years in the planning, Stack was designed to be a walk-in venue, but due to Covid had to slash its capacity from 2,000 to 600 and introduce a temporary booking system to meet the Government’s requirements.

Stack will reopen from 10am on Monday, April 12

Despite that, in the 10 weeks it operated as a sit-in venue, from opening in early September, it welcomed 100,000 people through its doors attracting people from as far south as Teesside and as far north as Northumberland to Seaburn, giving a much needed boost to the local economy, while also providing 100 new jobs for the city – on top of the traders’ jobs.

Gemma said: “We opened in a pandemic which is challenging, but the response we had in those 10 weeks was incredibly positive. We know our audience is eager to come back and enjoy the food, drink and entertainment, and we want them to have a good time, but we want them to be able to do that even with the restrictions in place.”

It’s hoped that Stack will be able to open for the first time as it was intended to be as a venue from June 21 when all restrictions will be lifted. In the meantime, many have expressed disappointment in not being able to get a booking, but Gemma explained the guidelines they must follow.

"We need to ensure social distancing to be able to open and that those who do have a booking have the full Stack experience with a three hour window,” she explained. "We’re not built to be a bookable venue, but we had to adapt in the pandemic.”

Gemma Dishman, Marketing and Special Projects Manager at Danieli Holdings

From Monday, Covid measures will be as they were last autumn, with people able to visit within rule of six or two households up to 10 people. There will be a one way system in place, as well as table service booking through the app.

The only changes from April 12 will be a new stretch tent which covers the stage, as well as many of the lower plaza tables. Bi-fold doors have also been installed to the upstairs corner plots to protect from the worst of the weather but, for ventilation purposes, these cannot be closed until after May 17.

For those who haven’t got a booking, there will be a limited allocation for walk ups each day – just be prepared to queue.

Covid secure measures will be in place when the venue reopens

As well as the existing lifestyle units, Woofs ‘n’ Scruffs and the Games Cabin, there’s been two new additions to Stack in the form of smoothie bar So Smooth Co and eyebrow parlour Arch. Talks are also ongoing for the remaining two units at the front of Stack, with two on the side also available to lease.

Within the next 12 months, work will begin on phase 2 of Stack at the rear of the existing site, which will feature more lifestyle units, such as a karaoke room, as well as a function room for weddings. That will also see the opening of an exclusive bridal suite with views of the seafront.

It’s part of a swathe of investment in the seafront, which in the coming months will see the opening of the Seaburn Inn Hotel, a new gin bar at a former toilet block in Roker, a seafood restaurant in a former storage block in Seaburn, beach huts and more.

Gemma says Danieli Holdings, whose CEO Neill Winch is from Sunderland, are delighted to be part of a scheme to breathe new life into Sunderland’s seafront, which aims to provide entertainment for residents while also attracting people from further afield.

"I think with this site, as well as the Stack in Newcastle, it’s shown how we can be a catalyst for regeneration in the area,” said Gemma. “Our data shows that people don’t just visit us, they visit the businesses around us too. We want to be a part of the communities we’re in and we’re delighted that those communities have embraced us.”

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Stack will be back open seven days a week.