WHAT has been labelled South Tyneside’s first “pop-up restaurant” is to open its doors – despite fears of disturbance on a des-res estate in the borough.
Pop-up restaurants have been popular since the 2000s in Britain and Australia.
They are temporary eateries or “supper clubs” that only open for short periods on particular occasions.
The Mac ‘n’ Alli café, in Sea Winnings Way, Westoe Crown Village, South Shields, has been given approval to stage an over 16s-only “secret supper club” on the last Friday and Saturday of the month, from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
It was an application which raised the hackles of some residents on the estate, raising fears it could lead to further late-night applications – and create disturbance for residents living nearby.
But café owner Dee Clayton has pledged the supper club will be a “good neighbour” and that it will offer a “high-class, discreet dining experience which will bring back the art of conversation”.
The first event on Friday, August 29, is to be attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham and Stella Matthewson.
All the funds raised from the evening will go towards the Mayor’s annual charity fund.
Mrs Clayton said: “It really is something very different for South Tyneside – a first of its kind.
“This is a club and the dinners will arrive at 7.30pm and leave at 10.30pm.
“Everyone will have pre-booked in and there will be no tables outside. We will be providing information via e-mail and menus will be sent out in advance. There will be no question of any disturbance for our neighbours.
“It’s all about real artisan food and communal dining and places are limited to 22 on each night. We’ve already had lots of interest.”
Approval for the restaurant comes after Westoe Crown Village residents lost an earlier planning battle.
South Tyneside Council’s planning committee originally blocked a bid to convert a retail unit in Sea Winnings Way into a fish and chip restaurant and takeaway.
But that decision was recently overruled by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal, angering neighbours fearful that a chippy would pose a fire risk.
The Mac ‘n’ Alli cafe is to continue to trade, 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on a Sunday.