Play Hard

9 new openings across the North East

It seems autumn is officially pizza season – but we’ve also discovered a new-old theatre, an adventurous speciality coffee shop, an instant noodle bar, an exotic mini golf course, and a museum exploring 6,000 years of history in the North East…

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 11.10.2023
Rudys Durham


30–31 Silver Street, Durham DH1 3RD

Relaxed neighbourhood pizzeria Rudy’s has outposts in Manchester, Liverpool and London’s Canary Wharf (to name a few), so we’re stoked they’ve finally made the move up to the North East.

Born out of a passion for pizza, Rudy’s follows the authentic Neapolitan tradition of pizza making, with dough that takes over 24 hours to make fresh, topped with the highest quality ingredients imported from Naples, known as ‘the birthplace of pizza’.

And whilst the pizzas are most definitely the name of the game here, Rudy’s bar is making its own bid for the limelight – with iconic Italian spritzes, crisp lagers and classic stirred cocktails all on the drinks list.

The Exchange 1856


Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE

Built in 1856. Reborn in 2023.

The Exchange 1856 is a place for entertainment, fun, culture, food, drink, business, entrepreneurship and community.

A world-class theatre with an affordable and inclusive programme of shows, The Exchange 1856 will also operate as a multi-functional community hub, with regular engagement events, flexible office space and an Entrepreneurs Hub where aspiring business owners can share their ideas and advice.

All in a spectacular Grade II-listed building with 160 years of heritage.

Northumberland HQ


Location revealed 15th October

Ok, so this one hasn’t officially opened just yet – Northumberland HQ will open its doors to the public on 29thOctober – but we wanted to give you a heads up about this cool new visitor destination way ahead of time.

A hub for all things Northumberland, the HQ will expertly combine everything from speciality coffee, artwork and produce from the North East’s finest makers, bakers and roasters, to maps, guidebooks, camping and even Land Rover Defender hire.

Northumberland HQ rotates on the axes of adventure, discovery and an appreciation for the simpler things in life: local craftsmanship, open countryside and great coffee.

Sounds like our kinda place.

JK Newcastle


10A Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8JF

New Japanese and Korean supermarket JK Newcastle is a light, bright and Japandi-styled haven for all the authentic Far Eastern ingredients you could ever need to cook up a storm in the kitchen.

But we haven’t even got to the best part yet.

JK Newcastle also have an instant noodle bar in the store. Simply choose your flavour, pay at the till to get your bowl, and head to the noodle station to cook up your perfect bowl of noodles right there and then.

Not just delicious but also super affordable, it’s a great shout for a quick and tasty lunch.

7 new openings across the North East


Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NR

This new museum at the heart of The Auckland Project traces a path through 6,000 years of faith, belief and religion in Britain

Housed in a 14th century wing of Auckland Castle, the Faith Museum houses more than 250 objects across four dynamic gallery spaces from collections across the UK, to help us consider the ways faith has shaped lives and continues to do so.

Half of the museum is also dedicated to the work of contemporary British artists and their personal responses to faith, whilst an active programme of changing displays and temporary exhibitions will ensure there’s always something fresh to see here.

7 new openings across the North East


56 Upper Qube, Garden Walk, Metrocentre, Gateshead NE11 9YZ

Mystic temples and ancient wonders now await at the Metrocentre, thanks to the shopping complex’s latest new opening.

Treetop Golf welcomes you into the tropical jungle, where you’ll adventure through exotic terrain as you complete the two indoor, 18-hole mini golf courses. Fun for all the family, the courses are open until 10pm for more grown-up fun, too.

Once your appetite for adventure is fulfilled, delve into the best bars and bites the ‘Amazon’ has to offer.

Just beware of ancient spirits and lively locals along the way…

Pizza Rebels Whitley Bay


16 Park Avenue, Whitley Bay NE26 1DG

A fast, casual pizza restaurant, the newest kid on Whitley Bay’s block is encouraging us all to throw the rulebook out the window when it comes to our choice of pizza toppings.

Welcoming you inside with bright neon signs and a fridge stocked with craft beer and fizz, Pizza Rebels is about enjoying pizza your way. Choose any combo of toppings and sauce and see how colourful and crazy your creation can be.

If you’re a stickler for the rules (or need some help deciding what you really want), Rebels’ signature pizzas sound slicker than your average, too – especially the Wye Aye Ham.

Deep north Dean street


42 Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1PG

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: after teasing us for the last week on their socials, Deep North have officially revealed that their new site in Newcastle’s city centre is opening its doors this Friday.

And if its anything like their Tynemouth outpost, you can expect more sumptuous artisan doughnuts made using only the best local and seasonal ingredients, washed down with speciality coffee.

Settle down in the latest outpost of this hip coffee bar and indulge in the exciting array of flavours available – from your classic Homer doughnuts to way more adventurous filled-and-loaded creations.

Soul bride by Nico


Mackies Corner, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 1TX

One of the newest openings on the North East’s wedding circuit is especially for all the brides out there wanting to look one-of-a-kind magic on their wedding day.

Soul Bride specialise in quirky wedding dresses for the alternative bride. With designs encompassing every style – from boho beauts to rock chick chic – Soul Bride’s designs are made with individually chosen, ethically sourced fabrics that ensure they’re not just inclusive and individual, but also sustainable.

Everyone’s wedding should be a showcase of who you are as a couple and as individuals, and your outfits should reflect that more than anything. An unconventional wedding dress is one of the best ways to show off your creativity and personality.

And when you see the dress, you’ll feel it in your soul.

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