A £200,000-plus revamp of a well-known South Shields pub aims to give the business a sporting chance of drawing in a bigger crowd as it reopens today.
The Prince Edward, at the Nook, has been given a make over, turning it into The Derby.
The sports bar aims to give local darts teams a better place to play, while its bosses pledge to give customers access to the biggest sporting events on its screens.
It has been redecorated, with new carpet and seating fitted out, while its beer garden has also been improved.
The work has been carried out by D&G Pub Company, which has an overhaul of The Rose and Crown further up Prince Edward Road next in its sights.
It owns a total of 28 bars across the region.
It’s about the passion of the North East people and we might not have the best football teams, but we have the most passionate fans.Phil Barkley
The firm’s area manager Phil Barkley, which runs the Admiral-owned pub, said: “The Prince Edward has a local following, but was looking tired.
“We wanted to bring in a new clientele and more people want something a bit more modern.
“Now it has Sky Sports, we’ve got 12 LCD HD televisions and a new cafe area and all new seating.
“It’s been the Prince Edward for a long time, but there’s no connection there besides the fact it’s on Prince Edward Road, and we wanted it to be a sports bar.
“The North East is 50/50 split with red and white and black and white, we’ve got total devotion, it’s so important to people and the derby is the big game of course.
“It’s about the passion of the North East people and we might not have the best football teams, but we have the most passionate fans.”
The improvements to the bar have been in the pipeline for 18 months.
Last May, it was the scene of a fight which led to the death of Ronnie Howard, 31.
Michael Wilson, 35, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, is serving a 16 year jail term after he was convicted of murder at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month.
Mr Barkley added: “It was just dated and we wanted to make it somewhere the people of South Shields could be proud of.
“As far as what is happened to that poor lad is concerned, it could have happened anywhere.”
The business employs 15 people and the revamp has led to an hours boost for the workers and could see more workers taken on in time.
The cafe will serve food from 10am to 4pm each day and the pub is open from 11am to 11pm, with midnight closing at weekends.