Pleased To Meet You expands in Newcastle city centre's High Bridge

£500,000 is being pumped into the gin and draft bar by Ladhar Leisure, creating a new dining area with a bar and an underground cocktail club

Pleased to Meet You
Pleased to Meet You

The success of Newcastle city centre bar has prompted owners Ladhar Leisure to pump £500,000 into an expansion that will create a new dining area and subterranean cocktail bar.

Queues of customers can regularly be seen outside the Pleased To Meet You gin and draft bar, which opened in High Bridge two years ago as part of the owners’ investment plans within the city.

Following the bar’s continued success, the firm is extending the venue into two adjoining shop units, doubling the dining space currently on offer while also creating 15 new jobs.

Pleased to Meet You will be open throughout the expansion, with the new sections due to open for the August bank holiday weekend.

Pleased to Meet You, on High Bridge, Newcastle
Pleased to Meet You, on High Bridge, Newcastle

The extension will create additional seating to the existing venue, creating a dedicated dining area with an additional bar, a luxury events space, private dining facilities and the creation of an experimental cocktail club discreetly hidden in the basement.

To demonstrate Ladhar Leisure’s determination to make their venues food destinations, renowned North East chef David Kennedy has also recently joined the group.

The multi-award winning chef behind The River Cafe in North Shields and who has also masterminded menus at the Biscuit Factory and The Vallum in Northumberland is working on food concepts for the leisure group, much of which will feature on the ground floor of the White Hart Yard scheme.

The Journal revealed last year how the firm is embarking on a project that has been 15 years in the making, to turn 30,000sqft of the Grade I White Hart property between Grey Street and the Cloth Market into food and drink destination inspired by pop-up developments in London.

Chef David Kennedy
Chef David Kennedy

The two-phase project will eventually encompass five floors and, subject to planning approval, the first phase is now due to open in the first quarter of next year.

Director Barry Ladhar said: “Whilst we continue dealing with the planning team at Newcastle City Council on a project that is set to be unique to the North of England, if not the country, it has been decided to increase our already established and successful Pleased to Meet You offer.

“This extension gives us the space to offer food up until 10pm, seven days a week, and soon we shall be launching our Christmas menu with bookings also being taken for Christmas Day.

“The menu, created by Dave, has an emphasis on casual, modern and fun dishes utilising seasonal and local produce, tapping into Dave’s extensive network of local suppliers and producers.”

Since opening in 2013 Pleased to Meet You has been listed in the top 100 bars in the UK and is currently in the regional finals of Great British Pub award 2015 in the best spirit bar category.

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