Published on June 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Underneath the arches

Even though he has lived with the idea for a full year or more, Leo Bell is still surprised by the new Arch2 craft keg brewpub and kitchen at Ouseburn, Newcastle.

He and his father Mike have transformed a former tyre-fitting garage into an intriguing contemporary setting.

“It’s turned out better than the picture I had in my head,” he says. “I could see the details but couldn’t quite visualise the whole thing.”

A large, yard-like area leaves customers in no doubt that they’re sitting directly under one of Byker Bridge’s soaring brick arches. The bar itself – covered in – is no-frills café-style, straddling beer, coffee and cake as it promises on the window. It feels good, it all tastes terrific.

The exterior stark brickwork is softened by a graffiti-style illustration and like the Ouseburn area it depicts, it’s vibrant and slightly edgy.

Leo says: “Our first Friday coincided with Newcastle’s Late Shows event which is one of the busiest in the year, but we coped well and we’re well set up for anything that can be chucked at us..”

The Newcastle Brewing Co brewhouse which Leo and Mike operate is expected to be up and running this month as is the full-on kitchen operated by acclaimed Tynemouth café and patisserie Dil & the Bear.

“The whole Arch2 idea was that it’s very community-orientated with 50% of the development costs equity funded by local people,” says Leo. “Wherever possible, we’re using local suppliers – artist Jim Edwards designed our bottle labels, our T-shirts are from just around the corner, and even the guy who supplies our wine is originally from Walker. We’ll certainly listen to ideas from people who want to use the space whether it’s a jam session, slam poetry, philosophical debates, you name it.”

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Alastair Gilmour

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