Published on September 5, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


More fun than selling flowers

The word Nord is used in several European languages to mean North. It’s the same in French, Danish, German, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish – even Catalan – but there’s something appropriate about saying it in Whitley Bay-ese. Nord. It sits well and it fits a new bottle shop and tasting room on the town’s Park View.

“It has a bit of a Scandinavian vibe,” says Nord co-owner Nick Talbot who runs the business alongside partner Gemma Lindsay. “It suits us and the way we’ve done the place out.”

A very attractive corner shop, previously a florist’s and retaining its high, handsome glazing, Nord is quite stark in true Scandi manner. Pine table tops echo the polished timber flooring which blends with raw MDF shelving, counter front and back bar in a “work in progress” fashion. Large slabs of dark green and black contrast the piney edge.

Six keg taps serve a variety of beers which most visitors sip while searching through the three fridges stacked high with colourful bottles and cans, matching mood to beer and vice-versa. Then they might take another glass into the rear tasting room to do a bit more studying.

“The local businesses and residents have been very positive about us being here and see us as another reason to come to Whitley Bay,” says Nick. “Everyone who has visited has been really good, really positive.

“Our customers come from a wide range of ages – 25 to 75. In fact one older chap comes in every couple of days and has a drink.”

Nick and Gemma were hit by that classic ailment that strikes most people, regardless of their employment. “We were sick of working for other people,” says Nick, who was in the digital sector while Gemma worked in recruitment. “We wanted to do something with our interest in beer – and we’re really glad we did it.”

The word Nord slips off the tongue easily – which is perhaps why Nick and Gemma cornered the name for a beer shop in the first place.

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Alastair Gilmour

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