Jarrow pub scene set for revival as former Golden Lion reopens as Johnnie’s following return of the Albion

Jarrow’s once-thriving pub scene looks set for a revival as two historic pubs reopen within steps of each other.

By Sarah Sinclair
Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 5:34 pm

The landlords of the newly-opened Johnnie’s pub and Albion Inn on Walter Street say they are hoping to draw in the regulars and restore the area to its former glory.

The former Golden Lion, which opened on Saturday, January 11, has been renamed in honour of its longstanding former landlord, Johnnie Ingles.

Taken over by new owners in September, the pub has been given a full refurbishment inside and out to transform the rundown boozer into a welcoming venue.

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New landlord of the Albion Inn, Jess McConnell and Johnnie's pub co-owner Jean Murray are hoping to revive the Jarrow pub scene.

The second phase of the project will see the owner of Tino’s Italian on Fellgate Avenue open a restaurant at the premises in February, before the renovation of the upstairs function rooms later in the year.

Co-owner of Johnnie’s, Jean Murray, who has run Murray’s Social Club on Fellgate Avenue for more than 30 years, said: “There used to be hundreds of pubs in Jarrow, one on every corner.

“I’ve always liked this place and thought it had loads of potential, my parents used to drink here. The last few days have been lovely, with people coming out and enjoying themselves.

The former Golden Lion on Walter Street has been renamed after longstanding landlord Johnnie Ingles.

“With Jess going in [The Albion] hopefully it will become a bit of a walkabout, to bring people back to Jarrow again.”

Her co-owner Matthew Doyle, added: “It was just a rundown pub beforehand but the property has got a historic reputation and we wanted to put a bit of investment into the local area to try and restore it to its former glory. It's had a really positive response from locals who used to drink here.”

While Jess, who has restored the former Jarrow Gin and Ale Bar to its Victorian-era glory, including reverting back to the original name from 1865, is also hoping to see a resurgence of the once-booming Jarrow boozers.

“There’s the possibility of the two pubs bouncing off each other, it’s a great opportunity for the town,” he added.

An old photo of Walter Street, Jarrow.
Inside the newly-refurbished Johnnie's, the former Golden Lion, Jarrow.
Inside Johnnie's, the former Golden Lion, Jarrow.
Inside Johnnie's, the former Golden Lion in Jarrow.