A former coffee shop is set to be transformed into “Sunderland’s first micropub” under new plans.
Earlier this year, Maxim Brewery launched a ‘change of use’ bid for the former Bojangles space off Sea Road, Fulwell.
In evidence submitted to Sunderland City Council, the lead applicant said the new business would be aimed at “social drinkers” in the area – from young professionals to senior citizens.
The statement adds: “This would be Sunderland’s first micropub backed by the city’s only commercial brewery and feature a range of craft, cask and keg beers.
“There are many good examples of these increasingly popular bars in local towns and cities, Newcastle, Durham, Stockton and Middlesbrough.”
During consultation however, neighbours lodged a petition raising fears over the micropub “exacerbating current levels of anti-social activity”.
The petition reads: “Already, we are subject to common incidents of anti-social behaviour such as drunkenness, urination, vomiting and loud and abusive language, particularly at weekends and during the summer months.
“Should this proposal be confirmed, there would be a total of five drinking establishments on Sea Road alone and we argue that this would be a retrograde measure and detrimental to the character of the neighbourhood.”
Despite the objections, planning officers gave the final go-ahead to the plans on March 27.
Agreed opening hours include 3pm-11pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
On weekends and bank holidays, the micropub plans to open between 11am – 11pm.
A planning condition also states the rear yard can not be used by patrons at any time for any purpose, other than as a means of escape in a emergency situation.
Council officers requested this condition which aims to protect the amenity of nearby residential properties.
Maxim Brewery is currently the lead applicant on behalf of the landlord for the pub.
It was set up by Mark Anderson and colleagues from Vaux to rescue the Wearside brewery’s beers when it closed in 1999.
This year, the award-winning brewery is expecting to launch 20 seasonal tipples to mark two decades since the closure.
More details on the planned micropub are expected to be released in coming months.
What is a micropub?
According to the Micropub and Microbrewery Association, a micropub is defined as:
“A small freehouse which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks”.
Caption: Former Bojangles Coffee Shop in Sea Road, Fulwell – Picture: Google
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service