South Shields' riverside pub scene set for revival, say new landlords at River View pub in Mill Dam

The landlords of a landmark development in South Shields’ historic Mill Dam are hoping to see a resurgence in the area’s pub scene.

The River View Pub and Kitchen - formerly known as The Riverside – reopened in November 2019 after months of major redevelopment.

The boozer was a staple of the once-booming Mill Dam beer crawl but bosses believe the area could be set for a revival.

New owners John Thomas and Alex Calista, who also run The Mill pub and Italian Kitchen restaurant near Southwick, Sunderland have given the venue a complete overhaul, with the work finally completed in the last few weeks.

Inside the newly-refurbished River View pub

The restaurant and veranda upstairs have proved a hit with diners since it opened its doors but now the pair want to appeal to the pub’s more traditional punters.

The River View sits just steps from the CAMRA-winning real ale pub The Steamboat and traditional cask ale bar The Alum House on Ferry Street.

It’s next door neighbour - another long standing establishment - The Waterfront has also recently seen a change of hands, and is drawing people to the area with its live music.

“I’d like to see the Mill Dam pub scene revived,” said John.

The River View Pub and Kitchen opened in November 2019.

“We’re catering for customers of all ages and have got a good following at the moment, but we want to enlarge on that.

“We want to bring back the community aspect of people coming out and socialising in pubs.”

John, who had his sights set on The Riverside pub for 15 years has previously led developments of popular venues including seafront pub The Sand Dancer and The Lakeside Inn, Jarrow.

More than £500,000 has been invested in redeveloping the River View, making it fully accessible for wheelchair users.

The River View Pub and Kitchen has proved a hit since it opened.

And the bar downstairs which offers a choice of five cask ales is drawing in the real ale drinkers.

Alex added: “The restaurant side of things has done really well since we opened, but since we introduced a few more offers on the drinks we’re seeing a real increase on the wet side of things.”

The River View is hosting an official opening night on Thursday, March 26 at 7pm.

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John Thomas at the River View pub.
John Thomas with the pub's range of cask ale.