Time is being called on a popular seafront pub in Whitley Bay.
42nd Street, in East Parade, is set to close next month after the site – which has been part of Whitley Bay’s seafront for more than 100 years – was earmarked for new flats.
The pub has been run by friends Gary Harding and Gavin Hattrick since March 2013, who also took on the adjoining King George pub.
However, a deal is going through which will see 42nd Street and nearby Easy Street, in South Parade, turned into flats, once plans have been drawn up and approved.
Gary and Gavin, who also run Tanner Smiths in South Parade and Whitley Bay Brewing Company, are now hoping they can rent the building off the new owners until any plans have been approved.
Gary said: “This is the last of the big pubs in Whitley Bay, one of the originals. I don’t know what will happen to the nightlife in Whitley Bay now.
“We’re very sad. We’ve been here five years waiting for the regeneration of Whitley Bay and that’s now knocking on the door but we are going.
“But we never thought we would last five years when we took this on. If you had said that at the start, we would have said ‘no chance’.
“We took it on when Whitley Bay was at its worst. We probably were crazy but it’s been great, many of the punters are now our friends.
“I like to think we’ve done a little bit to bring Whitley Bay back.”
The pair have initially been told to vacate the premises by May 21, and say customers have been left shocked and devastated at the news.
Gary is hoping he can get a bit more out of the pub before the building goes.
He said: “The only hope is we are asking the new owners if we can rent it off them while they draw up the plans and go through the planning process.
“We don’t know if that will happen. We will be open and honest with customers as things progress, we don’t want to mislead them.”
Staff at 42nd Street and the King George have been offered roles at Tanner Smiths, Fitzgeralds and Gary and Gavin’s new micropub, set to open soon in Park View.
Gary added: “Myself and Gav always used to think ‘when is this going to end?’
“We have had five fantastic years, they couldn’t have gone any better.
“Everyone has backed us since day one.”