The resurgence of Newcastle’s leisure scene will continue apace in 2015 with the opening of a new luxury champagne bar in historic Milburn House.
Twenty new jobs will be created when Glass House opens its doors to the public in January, following an investment of £250,000 spearheaded by hospitality entrepreneur Mark Nigrelli.
Mr Nigrelli said he and his team have spent more than six months perfecting plans for the bar, which will also boast a courtyard area, making sure designs make a sympathetic refurbishment to complement Milburn House.
The venue will mainly operate as a select wine and champagne bar but will also include a whiskey cellar, while also serving tapas and canapes to customers.
Open from 5pm to 1am Monday to Sunday, the venue also pledges to provide live, background jazz and swing music on certain nights, and Mr Nigrelli is also working with Newcastle College to help students gain hospitality experience.
He said: “Newcastle has been waiting a long time for a high end bar and has been somewhat behind other UK cities in the offerings available to local drinkers.
“Locals and visitors to Newcastle deserve a five star bar with high quality servers and products that they can’t find anywhere else in the city.
“Milburn House was the perfect location to choose as the history dates back to the early 1900s when business and commerce in the region was booming and locals sought out drinking establishments that offered something a bit different.
“That’s exactly what Glass House is offering; a place where business professionals and discerning drinkers can enjoy a high quality drink in good company, away from the more ‘commercialised’ venues across the city.
“We’re perfectly situated to attract after work drinkers as well as the weekend trade for a sophisticated and luxurious drinking experience.”
The firm has yet to complete the transformation of its site inside Milburn House’s ground floor, yet plans are already under way to open further Glass House destinations elsewhere.
Mr Nigrelli said: “We are already in discussions for expansion plans across the region however these are very early days and once Newcastle is open we’ll begin to look further afield.”
The bar development adds to an exciting two years for Newcastle which has seen many successful openings including The Botanist, Lola Jeans, The Bridge Tavern, Stein Bier Keller, Tiger Hornsby, Hop & Cleaver and Popolo, and Mr Nigrelli said the rejuvenation looks set to continue for some time.
“The Quayside used to be the place to be and it fell out of fashion with the majority of the trade heading up into the city, especially around Collingwood Street and The Gate,” he said.
“Now it’s being redeveloped with some exciting new projects, both culturally and in the hospitality industry. I believe it has the promise to once again be ‘the place to be’ for a great night out.
“With so much investment in the rejuvenation of the Quayside, it can only be a positive step forward for the rest of Newcastle to boost its credentials as a major city in the UK for more than just being seen as a party city.”
Stephen Patterson, director of communications at NE1 Ltd, added: “Milburn House is a magnificent, award winning, historic building. The Glass House’s opening will encourage people in to enjoy the splendour of the surroundings. The plans for the venue echo the heritage and sumptuous nature of the building with champagne on the menu together with live music.
“The bar is set to be another welcome addition to Newcastle’s thriving leisure scene and will provide a link between the Grey Street and Quayside circuits.
“I’m sure it will also become a regular haunt for the many businesses housed within Milburn house itself, NE1 included.”