Is that the sound of corks popping? Sunderland will this weekend welcome its first dedicated prosecco bar.
The Prosecco Bar is set to be a sparkling new addition to the new Funky Indian venue, which opened in the former derelict Cosa Nostra site in Borough Road in April.
While the Indian tapas restaurant will remain operating on the basement level, The Prosecco Bar is opening on the ground floor level of the city centre venue.
It will stock a range of varieties of the increasingly-popular Italian white wine, including premium brands such as Bottega and Scavi & Ray.
Owner Kam Chera said: “The bar upstairs has always been a separate area, which we were using as a holding area for the restaurant downstairs, but we always knew that we wanted it to run as a separate bar.
“We wanted it to be a destination bar that complements the brand of Funky Indian, which is very popular with women due to the tapas concept. There isn’t a dedicated prosecco bar in the city at the moment so we decided that would work perfectly.
“There’s so much more to prosecco than people think with lots of different grades, brands and premiums. We’ll be stocking lots of different Italian brands that people can experiment with, to appreciate the flavours. It’s a great alternative to Champagne and isn’t as acidic.”
The venue had already undergone extensive renovations for the Funky Indian launch after the building has stood empty for five years.
“We’ve kept the upstairs neutral,” explained Kam. “We had a few Indian elements in there, so have taken those out and kept it light and spacious. The look we’ve gone for is of a hotel lobby. We also have waiter service, which fits in with the sofa seating.”
The bar will open with a soft opening this weekend, with a full menu available from next weekend.
A VIP launch was held last night, which Kam says went with a fizz.
The businessman added: “We had around 100 people attending and the feedback was superb, there were lots of bottles popping. We’ve also had a lot of support from local businesses including the new Flannels store in Fawcett Street.
“We’re looking to attract the 30+ crowd who appreciate good wine and ambience. That kind of customer wants to sit and enjoy their drink so we’re advising that people book.
“We’ll also be selling a nice range of single malt whiskies and other spirits, as well as a small cocktail menu for those who don’t like prosecco.”
•The Prosecco Bar will be opening from 5.30pm Tuesday to Sunday and from noon on Saturdays.