End of an era as Morpeth bar closes after 40 years of trading

A bar in Morpeth has closed due to a combination of factors.

By Andrew Coulson
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 9:07 am

Sour Grapes Wine Bar in Newgate Street was opened about 40 years ago by Eric Hardy, former builder and contractor in Morpeth.

At that time, the then Castle Morpeth Borough Council would only allow a wine license – hence the name Sour Grapes.

Leslie Mantel was another previous owner and it has been owned and run for the past 18 years by Sue and Stewart Todd, along with a dedicated team of bar staff.

Sour Grapes Wine Bar in Morpeth is now closed. Picture from Google.

The couple have spoken about their decision to close and gave a message of thanks to their customers.

They said: “Last Sunday evening was our final opening and we were well supported by past and present customers, for which we thank them.

“The main reasons for closure are the longer effects of the Covid pandemic and changes in people’s habits.

“This coupled with significant increases in gas and electricity costs and increases in excise duty and other costs and falling footfall has meant that the balance sheet had become something of a Rubik's cube – in short, income was being out stripped by the base costs many times.

“In the 18 years when we have owned the business, we would like to thank all customers for their support and cordial friendship. We would specifically like to thank Lana for her dedicated service and Olivia for her friendship and fun.

“As with all jobs there are always highs and lows, but we can say the majority of the time it was a rewarding experience.

“Regarding the live music, we always tried to be neighbourly and attracted some top-named regional bands.”