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NE1 Spring Update: What’s Happening In The City?

We know the first two months of 2021 have been a drag, but that’s not to say that things have stood still in Newcastle. With the warmer weather fast approaching and brighter days on the horizon, we're bringing you a plethora of new openings, dream developments and pivoting businesses. Here's an update on what's been going on in the city in recent months...




We’re buzzing to learn that ABOVE, the latest venture from our friends at Gainford Group, is completed and ready for take-off come June time! This dazzling, all-weather rooftop bar and restaurant in the city centre caused quite a stir on social media a few months back and it’s pretty clear to see why. Located on the roof of The Vermont Hotel, ABOVE boasts 360-degree backdrops of NE1’s phenomenal cityscape and will offer up some of the finest hospitality in the city and we’re pretty certain it’ll be buzzing with activity this summer. With a striking design, cool cocktails and a lush menu to compliment it, ABOVE has been designed with an adaptable layout - meaning it can also be used for all kinds of special occasions including weddings, cinema screenings, private parties, corporate events and more. 




More exciting news for the city-centre as plans to turn Newcastle city centre’s former fire station into a 5-star hotel and restaurant have been submitted in the latest phase of the Pilgrim Street regeneration! Last time we checked in with the project, the iconic Worswick Street Bus Station had been pulled down as work on site really ramped up as the huge £100m Pilgrim Street plan began to take shape during the colder months. Fast forward to spring, and we’ve recently learned that plans to renovate the old Fire Station into a boutique hotel with sleek new bar and restaurant, as well as a gorgeous outdoor courtyard have been submitted to Newcastle City Council in recent weeks. It’s fair to say that the generational, £100m Pilgrim Street development is coming along at a rate of knots!                 




News just in that the Magic Hat Café gang are bringing a new café to the city shortly! Featuring a lush new kitchen, office, coffee bar, the guys are applying the last lick of paint right now and they’re gearing up to fly open the shutters and welcome hungry revellers to the Magic Hat over by Higham House, near Laing Art Gallery. This inspiring lot help tackle environmental and social injustice by upcycling edible food waste, cooking up delicious and affordable meals for the community and helping avoid needless waste that’s usually sent to landfill. We’ve been enjoying their pop-up coffee huts on our weekend walks, and we’re so excited to see their new Magic Hat HQ in the city centre. Good luck team! 




Huge news for the city folks and it’s one that’ll go down a treat too! Crow Events have announced to World's Fair Publications that The Hoppings is moving from its usual June date to August this year! With organisers hard at work planning this year's extravaganza, The Hoppings is looking to arrive into the city this summer and bring with it a whole host of family fun and fairground rides to the Town Moor once again this year. Did you know, this beloved Geordie funfair extravaganza first came to Newcastle 136 years ago and is now one of Europe’s largest travelling fairs? A major dose of adrenaline, good times and surprises await us all this summer, so get ready for 12 days of funfair action and be sure to clear your schedules from 19th August until 30th August 2021 - it’s going to be one for the ages! 




Oh how we’ve missed a brunch date over at Blake’s! The season of refurb and renovation is well and truly underway, as one of the Toon’s beloved bait spots, Blake’s, has announced that they’re underway with a new re-model of their iconic cafe and coffee shop on Grey Street! We’re still waiting for the finer details to emerge, but the gang have promised us that it will be Blake’s as we all know and love with a super slick service point and even more comfort for hungry patrons to chill and enjoy! Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page below for more updates and look forward to the fact that their big breakfast stotties, delicate Danish pastries and awesome American pancakes aren’t too far away!




Newcastle Mela is back for 2021 and they’re bringing bundles of culture to the streets of NE1 this summer! Scheduled to take place during the August bank holiday, our hearts were jumping for joy when we learned that one of our favourite events of the year will return for an open-air celebration of fun, laughter, music, entertainment and performance in Exhibition Park. Head down to learn something new, be entertained, enjoy exotic cuisine, dance to new music, experience fine art and immerse yourself in some of the finest traditions and cultures from around the world. It’s a fab, free family event - make sure you’re a part of it this summer! 




The paint is dry, the tables are polished and the beer is chilling. That’s right gang, Hard Rock Cafe Newcastle is ready for action once city life is given the green light. Those who have been out and about, counting their steps and clocking the miles on the Quayside will have seen that the iconic Hard Rock Cafe logo is up on the Guildhall and we cannot wait for the green light to get rocking. Arriving into the Toon with a stunning restaurant, a legendary food and drink menu as well as a raised mezzanine floor overlooking the Tyne, we have a feeling that the HRC Newcastle is going to  blow our socks off. Make sure you keep an eye out for their June opening date! 




Our beloved Grainger Market is set to welcome a brand new tenant shortly, as Firebrick Brewery, a local independent brewery from the region has just unveiled plans to open a bottle shop and bar! Launched back in 2012 by Alistair Lawrence, Firebrick have set the craft beer scene alight thanks to their delicious range of 14 North East-themed cask and keg brands. Now, these beer connoisseurs are looking to transform an empty double unit into a shop selling their lush beers and other terrific tipples, alongside a taproom and tasting area - sounds right up our street! They’re a small but mighty business making big waves in our beer scene, so check them out via the link below and keep your eyes peeled as this one develops!




Positive news for all the rugby fans out there! The original May fixtures for the 2021 Dacia Magic Weekend have been rescheduled for the weekend of September 4-5 at Newcastle’s St James’ Park and boy, it feels so good to know that live sport will be returning to the city once again! Super League’s iconic sporting summer party returns to Newcastle in September this year, promising an action-packed weekend of fun for the whole family and we’re chomping at the bit to see the biggest rugby league stars battle it out at St. James’ Park! Over 60,000 fans from NE1 and across the country will once again flock to Newcastle to watch and cheer as rugby league’s top teams battle it out on the field across two-days of amazing action. Taking place on the 4th and 5th September, make sure you don’t miss out on this carnival occasion of top-class live sport – it promises to be electric! superleague.co.uk/tickets


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