Pub Reviews

Published on March 31st, 2015 | by Alastair Gilmour


City Tavern

Being dog-friendly in the city centre has been a phenomenal success 

The City Tavern has been open for exactly a year and the staff have since worked hard to earn a place among Newcastle’s top pubs. Immediately stylish, it also manages to fend off any preconceived ideas of exclusiveness. It’s friendly, embracing and welcoming. 

The transformation from its previous pub life has been described by Simon Theakston, chairman of family brewer T&R Theakston, as “the best pub refurbishment I have ever seen”, which isn’t a bad comment to have on your CV.

The internal finishes – timber and brick – are traditional, with a not so much a twist but a full plait. Beams, girders, cabling and piping have to be there for the place to function so why not make a feature of them – plus that way they’re so obvious they’re almost invisible. Framed photographs featuring people enjoying themselves are important too, and also add to the ambience. And being dog-friendly in the city centre has been a phenomenal success, attracting customers who have dogs and people who don’t have dogs but appreciate a place – like a country pub – that accepts them gladly.

The main bar is impressive enough, but regulars enjoy saying: “Have you been upstairs?” Upstairs is little short of amazing. Its cleverly designed areas can be simultaneously intimate or all-inclusive and it’s also licenced for marriages, accommodating parties of up to 60. Bookings for private and corporate events already stretch into 2016. An open kitchen adds to the theatre of presentation and an outside terrace with comfortable seating is a treat for smokers.


where is it? City Tavern, Northumberland Road, Newcastle, NE1 8JF Tel: 0191 232 1308,
Just off Northumberland Street, one of the country’s busiest shopping streets, opposite Newcastle’s largest multi-storey car park, and yards from the City Hall. The completely transformed, 1872-vintage building (remodelled in 1923) was for several years known as LYH.

About the Author

Alastair Gilmour

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