Sleepless nights over the possible rebranding of a popular South Shields hotel have been put to bed – by keeping the name the same.
The new owners of The Sea Hotel say they no longer intend to change its name - in response to an outpouring of public affection for its original moniker.
They admit to being taken aback by the swell of messages in support of maintaining the seafront venue’s well-known handle.
Built in the 1930s, the hotel was bought by Newcastle-based High Street Hospitality in a £1million deal in September.
The company has pledged to invest £750,000 on its refurbishment and had intended to integrate it into its Hotel 52 chain.
But managing director Phill Brumwell has now set a course on a different naming agenda after listening to residents’ appeals for continuity.
He said: “We have been surprised by the number of messages of support and good wishes we have had for the venture from the local community.
“It seems this hotel has hosted hundreds of celebrations which mean a great deal to people, so we’ve decided it will remain as The Sea Hotel.”
Mr Brumwell confirmed the refurbishment project is running to plan, with the hotel expected to function effectively over the Christmas holiday period.
A new Latin American restaurant, named Loca, the El Coddo fish and chip restaurant, and the El Hoddo coffee outlet have opened.
The upgrade also includes opening Bar 52, an American-style sports bar, in the spring.
The Sea Hotel is also benefitting from being granted a licence by South Tyneside Council to sell alcohol to the public until 2am.
The licence allows booze to be sold from 11am, with 24-hour alcohol sales permitted for clients staying the night.
Other licensed activities, such as live and recorded music and late night refreshment, can operate from 11am and 2.30am.
High Street Hospitality, part of the High Street Group of companies, runs two hotels at Whitley Bay and Stanley, Co Durham.
It recently purchased the Parkmore at Eaglescliffe, near Stockton-on-Tees, and The Three Horse Shoes pub at Washington, where it plans to create 58 bedrooms in the grounds.
Established in 2006, the High Street Group has grown to become a leading financial and property group, employing over 100 people.
Its activities include large-scale property development and construction, hospitality and leisure.