Published on April 5, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Staggering response to new pub

The owners of a new micropub simply can’t believe how kind people have been towards them after only the first two weeks of opening. Victoria Dunn and Paul Walker have been “overwhelmed” by the response to their first pub venture, The One Eyed Stag in Whickham, Gateshead.

The former newsagent/post office, sitting between a betting shop and an Indian restaurant, had lain empty for a couple of years, but the compact premises offered the couple the opportunity to build on a dream.

“We had been looking around at various places but this seemed the right size for what we wanted,” says Victoria, who gave up her job in finance for a law firm to work behind the bar. “It’s been a massive learning curve, but it’s been brilliant.

“It’s been absolutely amazing, we’re overwhelmed by the response. Everybody has been so lovely and complimentary, we can’t quite believe it. We’ve never run a pub before – Paul is customer services director at Tyne & Wear Metro, but it’s been his dream to own a pub ever since I met him. We were supposed to be getting married in July but now this has come along.”

Beers at the moment are from Firebrick, Allendale, The Stables and Durham breweries and the oft-heard comment is ‘it’s nice to be able to get a good beer’. The pub’s name is derived from the fabled One Eyed Rat in Ripon, North Yorkshire, one of the couple’s favourite pubs. Searching for names, Paul found a picture of a stag wearing a monocle – and decided that was it.

Victoria says: “We’ve had so much help from everybody in the business – the people from Wor Local in Prudhoe and the Dog & Rabbit in Whitley Bay have been in to wish us luck; the couple from the Marquis of Granby (Streetgate) popped in because they’ve just taken over their pub and offered any help we might need. Isn’t that wonderful?

“And Alistair Lawrence at Firebrick Brewery has been a massive help. He has spent a lot of time making sure we’ve got everything right.

“Every day I come in and think ‘this is ours’. Last night when I locked up I just stood looking at it for five minutes, I love it so much.”

Melton Mowbray pork pies on the counter, Durham Magus on handpull, a betting shop to the left, Indian restaurant to the right, does it get much better?

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Alastair Gilmour

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