The Staith House scoops raft of top pub accolades less than a year into trading

The redeveloped North Shields Fish Quay pub, run by masterchef finalist John Calton has been shortlisted in the Great British Pub Awards

The Staith House sign at North Shields quayside
The Staith House sign at North Shields quayside

Masterchef finalist John Calton is celebrating after his North Shields pub landed a raft of top accolades, in less than a year since opening its doors.

Together with Kimberley Calton and James Laffen the 2010 BBC programme finalist has redeveloped what was the New Dolphin pub to win the Best Turnaround pub in the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland, and secured listing in the Good Food Guide.

The pub has also been shortlisted as a finalist for the national Great British Pub Awards which will be announced on September 11.

The trio took on the run-down drinkers’ pub, formerly known as the New Dolphin and with the help of a £291,724 refurbishment by Star Pubs & Bars, went on to transform it from a £500 a week loss making business into a £14,000 a week highly regarded food pub.

John Calton on Masterchef
John Calton on Masterchef

John Calton said: “We’re thrilled that in less than a year of opening we’ve been recognised as one of the best pubs in the UK by being listed in The Good Food Guide, The UK’s bestselling restaurant guide. It’s a testament to the hard work of the team and to the great support we’ve had from customers, both of whom we’d like to thank.

“We’re also delighted that the pub industry has recognised the gargantuan efforts we’ve made to turn around the Staith House. We’ve won the regional award and now have our fingers’ crossed that next week we’ll win the national award.

“The re-opening of the pub coincided with the birth of our baby daughter, so it has been quite a year.

We have put in everything we’ve got into making our customers experience the best it can be. James and I have worked many a 16 hour day to get it to where it is today. Our location on the quay means we can buy our fish, scallops and shellfish direct from the fishermen.

“We filet the fish ourselves and do our own butchery, buying in lamb, beef and pork. This ensures we can serve quality dishes at affordable prices.

“We set ourselves a challenge every day to drive things forward and are passionate about having the best food pub in the North East. As it happens People come from as far afield as Scotland and Lancashire to sample our tasting menu on a Thursday night.”

Star Pubs & Bars, the leased pub division of Heineken.

Other pubs to benefit from the 2013 round of investment from the firm include The Marquis of Granby in Sunniside, the Pelaw Inn in Gateshead, The Peacock in Kenton, LYH in Northumberland Road and The Victory in Gosforth.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer