New bar is tribute to famous old Sunderland toy shop

NEW LOOK: Joseph's, a new bar in Holmeside, Sunderland, situated in the former Joseph's Toy Shop, pictured at the bottom.
NEW LOOK: Joseph's, a new bar in Holmeside, Sunderland, situated in the former Joseph's Toy Shop, pictured at the bottom.
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THE name of one of Sunderland’s most fondly-remembered shops is living on in the site’s new guise.

Joseph’s toy shop was a permanent fixture on Holmeside for many decades, and was a favourite store for many Wearsiders.



Since it shut in the 1990s, the store has been turned into various bars including The White Rooms and Plugged Inn.

Now, after standing derelict for many months, it will be reopened as a new pub – named Joseph’s.

Owner Stephen Clark said he felt it was important to carry on the history of the building.

Pictures on the walls depict vintage toys such as Hornby Trains and Scalextric, as well as old comics.



Stephen, who also owns the Butcher’s Arms in Hendon, said: “This is a fantastic site and it’s great to open here during the development of this end of Holmeside.

“It’s a great site for a pub, with Sinatra’s, Yates’s and Wetherspoons all nearby. When naming the bar we wanted to remember the history of the building and take that into account.”

The Joseph’s family business was set up by Benjamin Joseph in 1881, who was renowned for his fine leather craftsmanship.

Ov the years, the family ran stores in South Street and Union Street, before relocating to Holmeside in the sixties.

Josephs Toy Shop

Josephs Toy Shop

“We’ve had a great response to the name, everybody who’s come in says they remember buying toys in Joseph’s,” said Stephen.

As well as serving draught ale, the pub is specialising in live music with bands performing every Friday and Saturday.

He added: “Another tradition we’re bringing back is one from the Old 29, which used to be opposite The Londonderry. It would have live bands at 1pm every Saturday and that’s something we’ll be introducing.”

He added: “Traditional pubs are making a comeback and real ale is probably the biggest expanding market out there.

“The town is picking up, but our philosophy is simple: we’re an independent pub, but we know it’s important to work with the affordable price structures set by the chain pubs.”

By the end of next month, the pub will also feature an all day carvery, served upstairs.

Weekend live music will begin on Friday with The Troubleshooters and on Saturday with Ruby and the Mystery Cats.