Play Hard

8 new openings in the North East

From a secret speakeasy in Darlington to artisan pizza in Northumberland, sophisticated cocktail bars and hip places to eat in Newcastle, here are the North East hotspots that have opened in the last month.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 26.04.2023

BAWN

11 Main Street, Ponteland, Northumberland NE20 0ES

Taking over the former Eleven on Ponteland’s Main Street, Bawn’s vibe is centred around the old adage: sharing is caring.

Their menu is a collection of sophisticated small plates and New York-style sourdough pizza, both ideal for social snacking while you make your way through their extensive natural wine list.

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MOJO

The Gate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4XQ

Music for the people. Food for the soul. Good times forever.

It’s a bold statement, but one that Newcastle’s new cocktail bar, Mojo, are determined to pull off. And they’ve made a good start – guitar music from the last four decades mingling with crafted cocktails, ice-cold beers, shuffleboard, pancakes, bar dancing, bottomless brunch, footie fixtures and beer pong beautifully.

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REDHEADS MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

206 Chillingham Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 5LN

A street-food stalwart in these parts now, we’re delighted to see Redheads have decided to open a dedicated mac ‘n’ cheese joint that provides all that gooey goodness seven days a week.

Expect only the most inventive iterations of this carby classic – with everything from chicken tikka to Philly cheese steak flavours on the menu.

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THE VAULT

E Row, Darlington DL1 5PN

Think jazz singers, creative cocktails and glamourous velvet furnishings at this sophisticated speakeasy, which promises to take us back to the Roaring Twenties.

Every corner of Darlington’s hottest new hangout is filled with curiosities, while the pièce de résistance is the baby grand piano taking centre-stage, promising to host many a live performance as the year goes on.

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BURGER DROP

33 Heaton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 9BL

Imagine travelling hundreds of miles for ‘that’ burger… waiting all week just to taste ‘that’ burger… telling all your family and friends about ‘that’ burger…

Well, Burger Drop have made it their mission to be the ones delivering that burger.

Another smart addition to Heaton’s burgeoning foodie scene, Burger Drop’s craft burgers will have you falling in love at first bite.

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FOUR QUARTERS ARCADE BAR

54 Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1PG

Bursting at the seams with original arcade machines and classic gaming consoles, with an ever-rotating range of cocktails and craft beer, Four Quarters is the ideal hotspot to indulge your inner nerd.

Having cut their teeth in London, the Four Quarters team have worked closely with local breweries here in the North East to nail their Newcastle offering – meaning all you need to worry about is smashing that high score…

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BE AT ONE

39 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5SG

This sleek, stylish new cocktail joint – taking over the former home of Waiting Rooms on Westgate Road – boasts more than 100 cocktails on its menu, with master mixologists promising to create serves that are ‘second to none’.

With private booths, 2-4-1 happy hours, plenty of room to dance and cracking tunes all night, you’re in for a proper night out to remember.

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THE NORTHUMBRIAN ARTISAN PIZZA COMPANY

The Water Mill, Budle Bay Croft, Waren Mill, Belford, Northumberland NE70 7EE

If you’ve followed HLN for a while, you’ll know we’re suckers for a good walk. Another of our weak spots is great food.

And it seems The Northumbrian Artisan Pizza Company (NAPCO) have answered our prayers of combining the two.

Their kerbside pizza takeaway on the coastal path at Budle Bay offers wood-fired pizzas and garlic bread (with homemade sourdough bases) and desserts (including ice cream from Doddington Dairy).

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