Publican involved in ambitious project

How the former Waterline pub on Newcastle Quayside will look when it reopens as The Jolly Fisherman on the Quay.
How the former Waterline pub on Newcastle Quayside will look when it reopens as The Jolly Fisherman on the Quay.

A businessman who operates two north Northumberland pubs is leading a major £700,000 transformation of a vacant premises.

David Whitehead, who runs The Plough, in Alnwick, and The Jolly Fisherman, in Craster, now has grand plans for the former Waterline pub on Newcastle Quayside.

The well-known watering hole has been renamed The Jolly Fisherman on the Quay as part of the six-figure upgrade, being led by Heineken business Star Pubs and Bars and Mr Whitehead.

And Mr Whitehead intends to take across the best elements of the Fisherman at Craster menu – including whisky crab soup, crab sandwich, fish boards, oysters and langoustines, all of which are locally caught.

He said: “There has been a real gap in the market for a top quality, casual bar restaurant in Newcastle serving fresh fish.

“This combined with the Jolly Fisherman on the Quay’s quayside location and the success we’ve had in Craster, lead me to believe the pub restaurant will be well received in Newcastle.”

Mr Whitehead plans to turn the venue, which has been closed for more than a year, into a stylish quayside bar and restaurant, also creating up to 25 new jobs.

The former bonded warehouse will soon have a spacious contemporary bar with booth and freestanding seating on the ground floor, which will open out onto a new terrace with seating for alfresco eating and drinking.

And for the first time, the upper floor will now be in use, as a restaurant with an outside terrace. Full-length foldaway glass doors are being installed and two kitchens are being fitted, to meet the increased focus on food.

Lawson Mountstevens, of Star Pubs and Bars, said: “It’s great news for Newcastle and for Star Pubs & Bars to have a professional of David’s standing take on such an iconic site as the Waterline.

“The plans are ideal for the pub, which I am sure, like David’s other ventures, will be a great success.”