The city centre’s newest bar is set to be housed in tipi tents.
Port of Call in Park Lane is set to install two large-scale tipis, after leasing land to the rear of the bar.
The land, which was formerly used as a loading bay for wagons at Park Lane Market, is being raised to the level of the current bar and will house two interlinked tipis, with their own bar, which are due to be opened in time for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Tipis have become a top trend in the hospitality industry in the past few years, often used for weddings and as pop up bars at Christmas markets.
The Port of Call tipis will be a permanent feature at the bar and will be available to hire for functions. When not being used for events, the heated structures, which will hold around 120 people, will be open as a bar on Saturdays.
Owner Adam Dickman has invested up to £100,000 in the development due to the increase in demand for their function room on the second floor.
“We are currently turning down about one function a week because of the demand for the room,” he said. “I’ve been to tipis in other parts of the country, such as in Spinningfields in Manchester, and thought it would be great to bring the idea to Sunderland. There’s nothing else like this in the city centre at the moment.
“The tipis also means functions will be more accessible for people in wheelchairs, which can be an issue with the other function room.”
He added: “The land that we’ve leased from the council was under-used before. Wagons would use it for loading into Park Lane market sometimes, but it was mostly a dumping ground and was full of old fridges. As it was right next to the bar, it seemed perfect as an extension to our existing land.”
The tipis are the latest development at land previously linked to the market, with new bar Hidden also opening in an area formerly used for stalls.
Adam says they are in talks with the council about potentially breathing new life into the market and giving it more of a food and drink focus.
He said: “People will still have Jacky White’s for their traditional market, but it would be great for the city to have something more food and drink led.”