Lawe Top pub scene is set for resurgence says new landlord of The Lookout in South Shields
The new landlord of South Shields pub The Lookout has told how he harbours hopes of restoring the Lawe Top to its former glory.
Michael Ward from South Shields took over the running of the 19th Century pub on Fort Street three weeks ago, after the previous landlord had stopped serving beer on tap causing regulars to go elsewhere.
Michael is hoping to take the pub – once known as the ‘Pilot’s Look Out’ due to its views of the river - back to its roots and encourage drinkers to venture up to the Lawe Top again.
The once-booming Lawe Top pub scene has gradually declined in recent years with the closure of The Beacon in 2015 and the Harbour Lights earlier this year.
However, with new landlords opening the doors to the Harbour Lights again, Michael believes the area is ready for a resurgence.
“Everyone wants to bring the Lawe Top back, everyone talks about how much they have missed it,” said the 54-year-old, who was previously beverage manager at the Little Haven Hotel.
“I’ve been drinking on the Lawe Top for 10 years. I’m trying to get more people up there and enjoying it. I’m trying to turn it around.”
Michael has given the pub a freshen up and introduced darts, pool and quiz nights, as well as karaoke events to draw in the crowds.
“We’re opening the doors, putting the local beer on and making sure everybody is made to feel welcome,” he explained.
“We’re taking it back to the grassroots and using it as a community pub again.”
He plans to bring back some much-loved pub traditions such as football and darts teams, but also wants to appeal to younger drinkers.
“I want to encourage younger people to come in too, so they can mix with the older ones and hear their stories,” he said.
“We’ve had an excellent response, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
He added: “We need our pubs, we don’t want them closing down. They are supposed to be the heart of the community.”
The Lookout is open 11am-midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11am-11pm on Sunday.