Another new restaurant is heading to Newcastle Quayside through a leisure firm’s plan to invest a significant sum into a well-known building.
Directors at Durham Pubs are to refurbish the former Rumpolis Italian Kitchen restaurant – once owned by top North East comic Bobby Pattinson – to transform it into a new style of eatery to add to the growing number of independent firms expanding the city centre’s nightlife.
Around 20 new jobs will be created when Shilling, Butchers Deli Bar and Eatery opens on Sandhill, hopefully this Easter. Directors hope to create a unique brand in the venture which can then be rolled out to other locations.
Company director Mark Fox has enlisted Simon McIlwraith, of Collective Design, who has already injected his creative flair into many of the new leisure openings in Newcastle including Hop and Cleaver and the Coop Chicken House, working for firms including Ladhar Leisure and Tokyo industries.
Mr Fox said: “This is something we have wanted to do for several years but have waited until the time is right, and we’re really determined to make it work.
“Barry Ladhar introduced me to Simon at Collective Design and together we’re working on introducing a butchers’ style concept.
“My family were butchers so that’s why we want to do a deli-style operation, based around fresh food, and Simon’s really into the concept too.
“We’ve just got the keys to the building and I’m in the middle of changing the menu, so we’ll hopefully be open around Easter. There is a lot to do but it’s mostly cosmetic.
“It depends on how successful it will be but we’re planning to create at least 20 jobs, and if it is successful we’d also like to open different venues – I’m hoping to market Shilling as a brand.”
An application submitted to Newcastle City Council show Durham Pubs, which also operates the Red Lion in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, plans to make only a few internal alterations to the listing building to ensure the historic nature of the building will be compliment the proposed interior scheme.
The basement will have a butcher’s deli and private dining room, while the ground floor will house a restaurant and bar, with authentic details including butcher block tables. More seating is also planned for the first floor.
Simon McIlwraith said: “This is a new restaurant but we’re working on a concept where people will walk in and think it’s been there since year dot, with traditional butcher block table and chairs, tiled walls and hooks – it’s a beautiful venue and there’s nothing quite like this in Newcastle.
“We’ve had a lot of national companies coming into Newcastle so it’s great that an independent is running this, ultimately bringing something different to the city.”
Stephen Patterson, director of communications at NE1 Ltd said: “Yet more great news for Newcastle’s thriving Quayside. The area has been transformed with new bars and restaurants moving into the area reestablishing it as a hub for great food and fantastic venues.
“We look forward to welcoming Shilling into the fold and are delighted that it will further extend the city’s fantastic offer.”