A WHITLEY Bay pub which called last orders earlier this year is set to re-open through the ambition of two local men.
Gary Harding and his school friend Gaven Hattrick spent their late teens and early 20s drinking in South Parade, Whitley Bay.
And now the pair are keen to boost the dwindling night-time economy of the town by re-opening 42nd Street in nearby East Parade.
The pub was closed in January this year by Ladhar Leisure, which cited a decline in the pub trade.
But Gary, who spent the last ten years working for Ladhar, believes he can make a success of the pub – and says he is thankful for Barry Ladhar giving them the chance by renting the establishment to them.
He said: “I want to breath some life back into Whitley Bay.
“I used to work here 15 years ago. I came back six months ago and I was staggered at the way Whitley Bay was. I want to help the town get back on its feet.”
In the last 12 months a total of four pubs in the town closed their doors due to either companies going into administration or as part of a cost-cutting measure.
But Gary, 35, believes they can make a success of 42nd Street due to its location and iconic image.
“The bar is right on the seafront, people will notice it’s now open again and there is still life down here,” he said.
“People might fear the whole street is closed but there are still places open down here.
“The whole drinking culture has changed. People used to go out drinking at 7pm but now they stay at home, have a few drinks there, then go out to pubs after 10pm.”
Gary plans to re-open 42nd Street on Thursday, March 28 – ahead of the Easter weekend – but will be holding a trial run the night before.
He is also proposing to keep the ‘iconic’ name of the pub and has been able to create 12 jobs, bringing back some of the staff who were made redundant in January.
Gary, who has moved back to Whitley Bay while he manages the pub, added: “When I was 18 and 19 I worked in Easy Street, Idols and Deep, and spent time drinking on ‘the strip’.
“I now want to help the town again and am putting everything I have into making this work.”