The Central pub returns to Sunderland city centre - with former Dun Cow landlord behind the bar

A well known pub name from the past has returned to Sunderland city centre.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 7:06 pm
Popular pub The Central is back in business in Bridge Street.

The Central in Bridge Street has to re-opened under new ownership.

It had traded for three years as the Tipsy Cow, but it has reverted to its original name since being taken over by new licensee Graeme Metcalfe, formerly landlord of the Dun Cow, and business partner Phil Bainbridge.

The pub has a new license and will eventually be open seven days a week.

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Cheers! New owners of The Central in Bridge Street, Phil Bainbridge, left, and Graeme Metcalfe.

It will also be trading before and after events at the Stadium of Light, beginning with Sunderland’s home match against Wimbledon this Saturday.

The work required to re-open the pub took eight weeks. Most of the work was non-cosmetic; including new roof, ceiling, cellar equipment and fire alarm.

However, the front has been brightened up and new white and gold signage added.

Phil said: “There wasn’t otherwise a great deal to do. It was quite dark inside, so we’ve made it a lot lighter.

The Central is open again: back to its old name and trading under new ownership.

“We’ve got a chef on board and the kitchen will be open soon. The menu is being discussed.”

The pub has hand-pulls for up to six cask beers and Rivet Catcher is to be the house ale.

It also sells Guinness, Moretti, Fosters, John Smiths and Stella Artois. Bottled and canned craft beers are also available, as are a range of Whitley Neill Gins and Cîroc vodka.

Graeme and Phil are long-term friends as well as business partners and they had been planning to open a pub for some time.

The Central in Bridge Street has reopened under new ownership.

Phil added: “When Graeme left the Dun Cow, we said we would do something together when the time was right.

"My wife had a baby, but our son has grown up a little now, so there was more opportunity.

“It’s a great location with all the regeneration going on at Mackie’s Corner and the Elephant Tea Rooms.”

Graeme and Phil were also keen to change back to the pub’s original name.

The Central is open again: back to its old name and trading under new ownership.

Phil said: “We could have called it anything we wanted.

"But people still referred to it as The Central, so there was no better name.”

Looking swish. The Central is open again in Bridge Street.
The Central, newly reopened in Bridge Street, sells a range of handpull beers.