A new drinking establishment is proving to be just the ticket for thirsty commuters and residents.
The Left Luggage Room has enjoyed a popular start after opening in Monkseaton Metro Station six weeks ago.
The micropub was the brainchild of Andrew Findlay and Steve Buckley who were keen to bring the empty unit – once used to store suitcases at the station – back into use.
Despite initial concerns from the nearby children’s nursery and some local residents, the pair were able to secure planning permission and obtain an alcohol licence – taking six weeks to turn the building around into a pub featuring an eclectic mix of furniture sourced from a variety of people and websites.
And after opening, drinkers are enjoying the selection of real ales, beers, ciders, whisky, gin and wine on offer, with some available from their off-licence.
Steve said: “It’s all been going very well. We are finding it getting busier and busier.
“The building was basically just a shell. We thought about painting the walls but leaving it the way it was shows the history of the place. It is full of character so we left them to show some of the original paint scheme.
“We’ve got a good bunch of regulars, others trying us for the first time and commuters coming home from work who pop in for a quick pint.
“We’ve had a really positive reception from people.
“We’re now looking to start on the outdoor space soon and get some tables and chairs put in place.
“We planning on installing a wooden stove in the fireplace, we’re just waiting on permission from Nexus.”
The pub – which has created five jobs – is open from 4pm during the week but Andrew and Steve are set to open from noon, to match their weekend openings. It closes at 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday, and at 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
There is no music played or TVs in the pub, with people able to enjoy a drink and chat with friends.
The pub has a busker’s night every Sunday which is proving a popular addition.
Steve added: “We’ve had a lot of breweries getting in touch and we like to do a mix of local and national beers.
“We have Flash House and Two by Two which are proving to be popular.”
The pub has helped bring an added sense of security to the station, with people now using it late at night.
Steve said: “People have been asking us what the space used to be used for.
“A lot of people are saying it’s positive to bring something to the area, it’s nice to see the station being used.
“There is a lot of people coming and going which helps bring a sense of safety.”
They have also improved the look of the building from the outside, replacing the bricked up walls with window frames.
He added: “We’re in a Conservation Area so we wanted to get the original window design from the 1910s put back in. It also opens the place up so people walking past can see in.
“The furniture is a real mix of staff we already had, some we have found on second hand websites.
“Some of the furniture has a history and story behind it which just adds to the character of the place.”