Review: Revolution, Collingwood Street, Newcastle

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WHILE its younger sister in Sunderland celebrates her first birthday, vodka chain Revolution in Newcastle has been feeding and watering revellers for many years on the city’s so-called Diamond Strip.

Packed to the rafters of the former bank chambers on evenings and weekends, Revolution has a gentler vibe during the day, as office workers and students call in for a bite to eat.

There are plenty of comfy settee-style seats to park yourself in and browse the menu, which comes with a 15-minute promise from order to service, or your food is free.

If you hadn’t guessed already, this should be a flag to alert you that this fun pub isn’t in the business of turning out gourmet home cooked goodness, but is a high-turn over, city centre stop-off pitched at the city’s thriving student market.

It’s been some time since I was entitled to a NUS card, but if you steer clear of the vodka, Revolution is an easy lunch break between hitting the city shops, complete with complimentary newspapers.

We chose from a selection of pizzas, toasties, burgers and sharing platters, some featuring Revolution’s key ingredient of vodka, which is on offer behind the bar in a hangover-inducing 90 different varieties.

I went for salmon and smoked haddock fishcakes, served with a salad of edamame beans, red onion and cherry tomatoes, for £8.95.

My partner enjoyed a 6oz ranch burger covered in BBQ sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and bacon, with chips, for £8.25.

Served up quickly, probably no stranger to a microwave, but inoffensive bar food which produced no complaints from us.

The one stinger was the price of soft drinks – £5.20 for two pints of diet coke and a lime soda; quite a shocker when the total bill was £22.50.

If the food isn’t that impressive, the surroundings in Revolution are a tad more spectacular than your average city centre bar.

Once the home of Barclays Bank, in the days before free plastic pens and dodgy TV ads, the building boasts 22ft-high ceilings, ornate marble pillars and original artwork on the walls.

Skint students might also like to note that Revolution Newcastle also offers 2-4-1 midweek deals on burgers, pizzas and steaks and enough drinks deals to put paid to morning lectures.