Fans of the alternative will be impressed by its unapologetic references to pop culture, whilst food and drink connoisseurs will love their variety.
dAt bAr puts the ‘culture’ in counter culture, blending industrial interiors with sophisticated menu choices. Found on Market Street close to Theatre Royal, it caters to a mixed crowd at a mid to high price range.
The venue started as an independent bar that opened in 2014, to twin with the cafe 9Bar Coffee and appeal to Newcastle’s nightlife culture. Such a positive reaction has been felt that 9Bar Coffee has recently reopened as cocktail bar Nitehawks.
I have visited dAt bAr once before with a group of friends on their recommendation, though this time around I felt partially guilty for returning to effectively ‘steal’ the credit. With that in mind, my friend Holly was a large factor in my decision to revisit, describing it as “a great place with a great atmosphere, not too expensive” with “excellent service and great staff”.
The entrance to dAt bAr is somewhat unassuming, with minimalist neon signs showing the logo and ‘EAT’/‘DRINK’ above its door. Once inside, you are transported from the generic exterior into an expansive, vibrant space. An ‘in-the-round’ counter lined with urban corrugated metal stands centrally in the bar area, whereas the dining area to the left of the main entrance has an open hatch kitchen with a perfect view of their pizza oven.
“…a great place with a great atmosphere, not too expensive” with “excellent service and great staff.”
The most eye catching feature is without question their tongue-in-cheek “Wall of Death”, a celshaded mural depicting some familiar faces. A red colour scheme is felt throughout the room and gives it a mix of circus and punk rock inﬂuence.
Equally quirky is the lovingly titled ‘Boozeboard’, a chalkboard with 20 slots displaying the bar’s current selection on tap. Constantly transforming, it is a ﬁxture with character that breaks the monotony of the common draughts seen in other venues. Aside from the draught selection, dAt bAr also offers spirits, wines, bottles and world beers, and a cocktail menu. Their extensive library will appeal to those who appreciate trying out something new, but be warned that this can work both ways and may mean your preferred pint may not be available.
My experience of service at dAt bAr was excellent: staff were knowledgeable , friendly, and efficient, whilst proactively working to keep the bar space clean. One of the few low points was the toilets, which had wet ﬂoors and felt cramped. Though in keeping with the grungy comic strip walls, I’d take issue with this on busier occasions.
Indeed, the intimate space created by placing the bar centrally may be a blessing and a curse. Mobility during busier times may be tougher, and without the luxury of the ﬂoor space other centrally placed bars such as The Botanist have, this may result in a squeeze on popular nights.
Overall, I’d say that this is a venue for the young as well as the young at heart. There is style and substance to it, which is a shrewd combination in a city with a wealth of quality hotspots. If you are looking for something fresh that offers high quality refreshment with a dose of pop culture, dAt bAr is the ideal choice.
Address: 11 Market St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6JN
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs: 12pm – 12am
Fri – Sat: 12pm – 2am
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