An iconic Newcastle restaurant is being redeveloped into a cocktail bar and eaterie that will create jobs, by the team behind the successful Lola Jeans bar in Tynemouth.
Former professional ice hockey player Paul Sample and his fiance Lindsey have acquired a long lease for the premises of the former Godfather restaurant on the city’s Market Street.
They are now undertaking thousands of pounds of redevelopment work to turn the aging restaurant into a high-end cocktail bar that will also serve food.
Work started three months ago on the property and Paul and Lindsey are now hopeful of opening to the public in roughly four to five weeks time.
The move is expected to create 25 jobs including kitchen, front of house and bar tending roles, and recruitment is now underway.
Mr Sample told The Journal: “We spent a lot of time looking for a property that we could totally make our own. We wanted to start from scratch with something we could totally make our mark on.
“The building is so old it’s got loads of great features. We’ve stripped everything back and now we’re working to create something that stands out from the pack in Newcastle.
“Lindsey has done a lot of the design work as we’re keen to develop the place ourselves rather than hand it over to shop fitters. I think we keep our identity that way.
“The bar going to be a twist on what we’ve done in Tynemouth and our aim is to make it one of the most credible places in town for cocktails.”
The new Lola Jeans will span the entire ground floor and basement of the Market Street property and will include a “speakeasy” styled room downstairs.
Both bars are named after the couple’s young daughter, and the couple have left special messages to her in the tiles of the bar in the new premises.
Mr Sample, who spent time in America and Canada during his time as a professional ice hockey player, has taken inspiration for the food from both countries.
Commenting on the recruitment for the bar he said: “We’re looking for professional mixologists who are developing their careers in the cocktail trade.
“It’s important we get the best people on board to help us achieve that goal of becoming a go-to place for cocktails.
“We’ve thought really hard about our menus and the food is going to have that high attention to detail you get in the States and Canada. The kitchen team will have to reflect that.”
Mr Sample told The Journal that in the future he hopes to gradually open other venues in the region and beyond, as the business grows.
Those interested in roles at the forthcoming Lola Jeans bar should email firstname.lastname@example.org, with their CV.