Step inside new Sunderland micropub as it opens in time for Christmas

Sunderland’s newest and perhaps smallest pub has opened in time for Christmas.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 3:19 pm

The Lighthouse, in Sea Road, Fulwell, welcomed customers for the first time on Saturday to the converted coffee shop.

Heralded earlier this year as “Sunderland’s first micro pub” when plans were unveiled, the bar can host around 20 people with additional room available in an outdoor area at the back of the premises.

The Lighthouse’s arrival fulfils a long-time ambition for 47-year-old owner Sean Turnbull.

The Lighthouse owner Sean Turnbull outside his new Sunderland pub.

Sean, from the city’s South Hylton area, has increasingly yearned to open his own pub after visiting countless boozers over nearly a quarter of a century as a brewery delivery driver.

He explained: “I have delivered beer for Maxim Brewery for the last 10 years and for Vaux Breweries for another 12 years before that and I have seen what goes on in pubs and started to think I would not mind having a go at that.”

It will mainly stock Maxim Brewery beers such as Double Maxim and Samson at first although former Vaux favourite Scorpion Lager, now brewed by Hartlepool-based Camerons, is also available.

So too is the pub’s own Lighthouse Craft Beer, a light ale, which has been created exclusively for the The Lighthouse by Maxim Brewery.

Inside The Lighthouse.

Sean, who said he has put “all my savings” into the venture, added: “I will be making use of contacts I have made throughout the area during my time as a delivery driver to introduce more beers from other breweries.”

Given the relatively small size of the bar, which used to be Bojangles coffee shop, there is no television and Sean said: “What I want people to do is come down, sit, chat to one another and enjoy themselves without spending too much time on their mobile phones or watching the television.

“That’s what a good pub should be like and that is what I want it to be.”

Although the pub does not serve food, Sean hopes it will attract families with children allowed in until 7pm.

Sean Turnbull behind the bar inside Sunderland's smallest pub.