Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Changing Tastes Are Driving Newcastle's Restaurant Sector; in Association with the Leisure Industry - Looking Ahead

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Changing Tastes Are Driving Newcastle's Restaurant Sector; in Association with the Leisure Industry - Looking Ahead

Article excerpt

Byline: David Downing, Sanderson Weatherall Newcastle valuation partner

NEWCASTLE'S leisure scene has forever been one of its strengths, with the city's food and drink sector being a key driver of visitors and business.

The dining sector in particular is going from strength to strength, with significant expansion witnessed in recent times as an increasing number of restauranteurs exploit opportunities in the market and other established businesses widen their footprint.

This evolution is commonplace in the food and drink sector, with operators adapting their themes to meet the changing tastes of consumers and demands for something different.

One striking example is Ladhar Leisure's Pleased To Meet You, which underwent an extensive PS500,000 extension to create a new dining area and subterranean cocktail bar, resulting in queues of customers lining up to see the latest gin and draft bar.

It reflects a general trend towards converting existing venues into stylish new properties, the foundations of which were built when the former Adelphi became Lady Grey's, after a PS200,000 refit that aimed to transform it from a football fan haunt into a city centre gastro pub.

Similar transformation - or rather evolution - has been occurring on the Quayside, where a number of venues have changed their appearance and offering.

The resurgence has again included a PS700,000 project from Ladhar Leisure, which converted the former Offshore 44 into the Hop & Cleaver; a spacious bar and smokehouse that brings a taste of America to the area. Camerons Brewery is also targeting a pub in Quayside to add to its Head of Steam venues, after acquiring Eye on the Tyne.

It is further evidence of expanding interest in investment in the Quayside and Newcastle as a whole, and reflects the general trend for a different kind of business to target the market - something that has extended to Waterloo Square, with the opening of Bottle Shop Bar and Kitchen. …

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