Regional report

Why is Newcastle a good place to own a pub?

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Fine-tooned: Newcastle is a city that boasts a lively and vibrant licensed trade and late-night economy
Fine-tooned: Newcastle is a city that boasts a lively and vibrant licensed trade and late-night economy

Related tags: Property

Although known for being a party-time city, Newcastle has more strings to its bow than many may expect.

Newcastle in numbers

  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne has 218 pubs that employ 8,699 people (Source: British Beer & Pub Association)
  • This city has the largest population in the north-east region of England and it is the eighth most populous city in the whole of England. Newcastle’s population was expected to reach 314,366 by 1 July 2019 (Source: Population UK)
  • The population of Newcastle in 2010 was 292,200. In 2009, 88% of Newcastle’s population was white British and 12% comprised other ethnic groups (Source: Newcastle City Council)
  • Newcastle has a large number of people who are without work and claiming benefits. This represents 27,870 people or 15.6% of the working age population (Source: Newcastle City Council)
  • According to the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010, Newcastle is ranked 40th most deprived local authority and 72,000 people in Newcastle live in the most deprived areas in the UK (Source: Newcastle City Council)

Newcastle is known for its wild nightlife. ­The locals call themselves Geordies and the city is affectionately known as ‘the Toon’.

It is a place that is well loved with a vibrant late-night scene and has a long history dating back more than 2,000 years. During the Roman period, in 122AD, the area gained strategic importance when a bridge called Pons Aelius was built across the River Tyne. However, the city got its current name much later – during the Norman Conquest – when it was known as Monkchester. But Robert, son of William I, built a castle in the city called ‘New Castle’ and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Multifaceted revenue streams

Done deals

The New Inn, Appletreewick, Skipton, N Yorkshire

New Inn

Guide Price: £550,000

Tenure: Freehold

Turnover: £250,000

Agent: Davey Co 0333 200 8788

This inn is located in the North Yorkshire Dales. It has a lounge bar and restaurant – dining for 80-plus, six letting bedrooms with great potential.

The Queens Head, Titchfield, Hampshire

Queen's Head

Price: £45,000

Tenure: Leasehold

Rent: £35,000

Agent: Guy Simmonds 01332 865112

This is a grade II-listed site. It has a lounge bar/dining area (35 covers), restaurant (30c), function room (60c) and four-bedroom living quarters.

The Three Tuns, Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire

Three Tuns

Price: £375,000 (exc VAT)

Tenure: Freehold

Agent: Everard Cole 01223 370055

The 15th century pub has been sold to

Pringle Farm Estates. With two separate dining areas as well as an attractive garden space, the Three Tuns attracts diners from beyond the village.

Move forward a few hundred years and Newcastle is a city that boasts a lively and vibrant licensed trade and late-night economy.

The city is full of pubs, bars, restaurants and late-night venues with various circuits around the city, including the famous Bigg Market and Quayside. Operators in the city range from corporates, multiples to independents and, according to the latest alcohol stats, there were 805 of these licensed premises selling alcohol in 2012, which had increased to 1,013 by March 2018.

According to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Newcastle local authority area has 218 pubs that employ 8,699 people.

Newcastle also has the benefit of being a destination, attracting visitors from the surrounding area. It also has a large student population as well as attracting a wide demographic and age profile.

David Cash, senior business agent – licensed, at Christie & Co, says that while it has the reputation as a party city, there have been some developments that are bringing changes.

“­There are lots of nightclubs and nightlife, and there is definitely a place in the market for that. What has come to the city in the past 18 to 24 months are developments that have changed the drinking and dining scene,” he says.

Newcastle (1)

“It is still vibrant, it is varied but it is no means just a party city. It has something to offer for everyone.”

He highlights the Grey’s Quarter at the Intu shopping centre, which has seen an influx of casual-dining operators such as Red’s True Barbecue and Giraffe.

There are also two shipping container developments – one is called Stack, which offers live music, street food and space for independent retailers.

“It has changed the pitch and footfall in the city. It appeals to the 25-plus age group of people who want live music or a mixed environment. It is an eclectic mix,” he says.

The second called By ­The River Brewco, near the Quayside, also offers street food, craft beer and live music pop ups with river views.

Competition remains fierce in the city, with operators having to offer something innovative to keep ahead. Despite this, operators continue to trade well and the number of venues coming on the market is limited. Cash says many sales are conducted confidentially because there is still a demand from operators to get a presence in the city.

Wide catchment area

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Revolución de Cuba, the premium Cuban brand, opened in Newcastle in June 2018 in Bigg Market. It is trading strongly in the area, which has been well known for offering high energy, low-end-type venues.

“Newcastle is a great destination whether for a trip away or going to the races and it is a popular stag and hen city as well,” says Clinton Ghent, operations director for Revolución de Cuba.

“But it has a wide catchment area with people piling in from miles around on the trains for the day – not just at night.”

He says its success is down to its ability to appeal to a wide clientele, including a strong corporate business crowd throughout the week. ­The venue offers meeting spaces that includes three floors and a roof terrace.

“We have that versatility to offer lots of different things whether it is for an accountant having a summer party on the roof terrace or a hen party in the club room on a Saturday night,” he says.

People in Newcastle – whether locals or visitors – enjoy events such as its Latin Club night on a Friday, which attracts an international demographic of all ages.

“It is a thriving scene and there is a huge amount of competition so you have to be great,” Ghent says.

This view is backed by late-night operator Deltic, which has transformed the former Tiger Tiger into new site Eden.

Deltic regional director Brett Collier calls it a “gem of a city” to operate in.

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“It is a city that Deltic is glad to be back in and, if another site or opportunity came up, we would probably look at putting a second venue up there,” he says.

The Eden concept appeals to a broad age range from 18 to 50-year-olds by o­ffering premium food, as well as music rooms with commercial R&B, dance and a “cheesy music” Genesis room.

“The biggest thing for Eden is it is a place you can go for brunch, happy hour cocktails after work, have a late-night supper and then dance the night away,” Collier says.

“There is an abundance of bars, restaurants and some club operators in Newcastle but there is not somewhere that you can come in for any occasion and you can circuit within the building,” he says.

To find out more about pubs for sale, lease and tenancy visit our property site​.

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