A new bar and restaurant which hopes to bring a little manners and civility to Newcastle city centre has opened in the Bigg Market. The Gentleman Cocktails and Kitchen opened on Monday in what was the Little Saigon Vietnamese restaurant.
And the beautifully decorated bar – replete with top hats, umbrellas, and vintage musical instruments adorning the walls – is proving a haven for drinkers seeking something more genteel than the typical Bigg Market boozer.
Owner Daniel Stamatelopoulos, who also runs the Kafe Neon Greek restaurant next door, said he wanted to provide something different.
“We wanted something with an old- world, English gentleman vibe,”
Daniel added: “We want to have a really nice menu with a contemporary twist, in¬¬cluding stews and pies, a grill section with steaks and baby back ribs, as well as vegetarian options like pumpkin risotto. “And the other big thing is the cocktail menu, which we’ve been working on with The Cocktail Project, who’ll also be coming to host cocktail masterclasses. We’ll have things like peach iced tea mojitos or chocolate espresso martinis.”
The new bar and eatery will have live music “three or four nights every week” featuring local artists and bigger names every so often, with an emphasis on jazz, blues, lounge and swing. While on Wednesdays – perhaps a little confusingly for a business called The Gentleman – it will have a “ladies night”. “Our message is ‘Don’t worry ladies, we’re not a mens club’ – quite the opposite in fact. We want to be about acting in a gentlemanly way,” said Daniel.
The bar and restaurant will be open from 5pm to 11pm during the week and noon to around 1am at the weekend. And it hopes to capitalise on a multimillion-pound revamp that aims to bring back the glory days to the Bigg Market.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has backed ambitious plans to transform the historic site – which includes 31 listed buildings – with NE1 Ltd, the business improvement district company for the city centre, receiving initial support of £202,800 from the HLF, as part of its Townscape Heritage initiative. The funding was to help NE1 progress its development plans and then apply for a full grant in 2016, with the HLF earmarking £1,625,100 overall.
With match funding, more than £2.9m will be invested into the Bigg Market in a bid to turn around the decline in the once-vibrant area. “The Bigg Market regeneration begins soon and we want to be a part of that transformation as well,” said Daniel.
“We’ve already seen Filthy’s open on the corner, TJ Hughes is building a gym, Creams has opened and many of the shops are being redone. “Then there’s the hotel being built over the back (on High Bridge). The area is changing.”
Address: 6 Bigg Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1UW
Tel: 0191 2602040
I Love Newcastle Magazine would love to hear your thoughts about the above post, so please feel free to share them in the comments box below.