Date set for reopening of South Shields pub Harbour Lights under former Holborn Rose and Crown landlords

Much-loved South Shields pub the Harbour Lights is set to reopen its doors on Thursday, September 12 following takeover by landlords of the Holborn Rose and Crown.

By Sarah Sinclair
Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th September 2019, 11:32 am
Former Holborn Rose and Crown landlords husband and wife Chris and Karen McKeller take over the Harbour Lights

The Victorian-era pub, on Lawe Road, has stood empty since January 2019 with owners Heineken's Star Pubs and Bars outfit on the lookout for a new landlord.

Last week it was announced that Chris and Karen McKellar, former tenants of the Rose and Crown on Hill Street - which is due to be demolished this month - would be the ones to takeover the running of the pub.

Chris and Karen plan to keep the legacy of both legendary watering holes alive and are set to display some of ‘The Rosie’s’ sought-after seafaring memorabilia at their new venture.

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The Harbour Lights is due to start serving again at 4pm on Thursday with live music from Russ Tippins, one of the Rose and Crown’s regular ‘Buskers’, at 8pm.

“We’re excited but obviously very nervous with it being a new challenge,” said Chris.

“We’ve spoken to the locals in the area and have had people popping their heads in asking when we’re opening.

“There seems to be a big reputation up here and a lot of anticipation around it, so it’s a mixture of excitement and nerves at the same time.”

He continued: “There is a good community feel. Everybody has been greeting us with a smile and encouragement, so it’s been really positive so far.”

The pub has been decorated to give it a spruce up, but it's still early days, added Chris.

“The kitchen will take a bit of time to get up and running and over time we’re going to get The Rosie’s pictures up, but hopefully people are patient in that respect.”

And the couple are keen to give regulars a say on the future of their pub.

“We want to talk to the community and see what they want and then we can start moving forward,” said Chris.

“At the end of the day it’s their pub so we want to get them involved.”

The pub will be open from 11am-midnight over the weekend and is dog friendly.