A three storey pub and restaurant, the decor of which will pay homage to the Newcastle’s railway heritage, is set to open at Central Station.
At least 15 to 20 jobs will be created through the £600,000 project by Breeze Ventures, owner of Newcastle bar and eatery, Pacific House.
The premises will include a roof-top terrace offering panoramic views of the city.
Ten traditional ales representing destinations along the East Coast line will also feature as part of an overarching theme, celebrating the region’s rail industry as far back as pioneers George and Robert Stephenson.
The plans come amid the overall redevelopment of the station, part of a £200m regeneration of the historic Stephenson Quarter.
The space Breeze Ventures will redevelop is made up of two units that have long been underused, one of which is a timber structure once used as a left luggage office.
The Newcastle firm first expressed an interest in the site around 18 months ago, when East Coast opened a tender process, attracting bids from some large national players.
Approval for the scheme - which involved a change of use application for a grade 1 listed building - has now been granted by Newcastle City Council.
“We’re going for a traditional feel in the bar with a theme that plays on the Stephenson connection,” said Breeze Ventures director Harry Vaulkhard.
“We don’t want to create a museum - we also want it to have a trendy feel - but it will feature a lot of information related to that.
“And there’s a lot of heritage associated with the station.”
The venue, which would be a “destination bar” as well as a station bar, would offer high quality food that could be prepared quickly for the convenience of travellers.
An attractive smoking area would be included and the rooftop terrace could run barbecues and other special events.
“We want something a bit cutting edge and it will certainly be different to what others are offering,” Vaulkhard said.
“At this stage we can’t reveal too much, but we’ll doing some things nobody else is doing.
“What we’re doing will be revolutionary for the pub trade in general.”
Vaulkhard comes from a solid background within the sector.
As well as Breeze Ventures, incorporated in 2007, he runs Blakes Retail Ltd, responsible for popular Grey St venue, Blakes.
His brother Oliver, meanwhile, runs Fluid Group, the company behind the likes of Barluga and Perdu in Newcastle
“Everything we’ve seen suggests the pub trade is turning a corner again - and long may that continue,” Vaulkhard added
“It seems to be the right time and the right place.
“There is a lot of interest in station bars at the moment and hopefully footfall is on the up.
“It’s also quite an exciting time in terms of the expansion of the rail network.”
The plans, which seek to retain original features like glazed brickwork and timber wall panelling, were prepared by Dakota House of Design, which also worked on the interior design for Apartment Luxebar & Dining Room.
The business has an office in Jesmond as well as branches in Nottingham, Spain and Dubai.
Junior Designer Clare Bodak said: “Dakota are very pleased that the project has now received both listed building and planning approval and we’re looking forward to working with Mr Vaulkhard Junior through to the completion of what should be a very successful venue.
“The interior, which is over two floors, has been very carefully considered, and will include as much of the existing feature finishes as possible along with a range of materials and exciting details that will together create a modern day interpretation of an old station waiting room with a warm welcoming feel.”
The venue will join existing station pub, The Centurion, which fronts Neville Street.
A report from the council on the plans said: “This building has been vacant to a large extent for many years and, although it was being used as a left luggage facility, this was only in a small part of the building.
“The proposal for a food and drink use would appear to be a viable proposition in this location, given its access to train passengers from the platforms.
“The building is located in the defined city centre and is not located adjacent to any residential uses.
“In planning terms, the use is considered to be acceptable and would constitute a viable future use for the site.”
Vaulkhard said that while it would be “nice” to open before Christmas, this may be “a little optimistic”.
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