Gazette readers say they have been left dismayed by the amount of rubbish which is spoiling a landmark seaside site.
Shelving units, electrical equipment, overflowing rubbish bins and general mess have been left on the pub’s patio, which overlooks Marsden Beach.
A metal gate has been closed across the pub’s lift shaft, which links the cliff cave pub to the car park on The Leas above.
There is no indication of when it is likely to reopen.
South Tyneside Council says it has been in contact with the pub’s owner and asked them to remove the mess.
No-one from The Grotto was avalable for comment.
Readers have been leaving their views and memories on the Gazette’s Facebook page and wesbite.
Lesley Matthews said: “Such a shame. It used to be such a brilliant pub - open all through the year. Many happy memories!
“My grandad was one of the builders of the pub/liftshaft in the 1930s.”
Wendy Shepherd said: “I thought it was now some trendy beach bar. It was plastered all over Facebook a while ago. Such a shame. We had our wedding reception there nearly 30 years ago and it was a fantastic setting.”
Lysa High-Stephenson said: “Such a shame. Its a unique and special place.
“Don’t understand why this place isn’t a success.”
Natalie Sayers said: “It was disgusting. Shame because it’s a lovely place to sit in summer.
Shieldsborn said: “Sad story. Have wonderful memories of Marsden beach, The Grotto pub/restaurant and great nights out!
“A shame that something as “different” as this lies in ruin and unused.”
Lee7 said: “Seems crazy that somewhere as unique as this seems to have struggled over the years.
“If this was located elsewhere I can imagine it would be some kind of tourist attraction but it seems to be largely overlooked.”