(L-R) Lee Smith – Theatre Leisure; Dave Guy – Theatre Leisure; Giles McCourt – Muckle LLP; Lee Robson – Theatre Leisure
Chloe Shakesby

'One-of-a-kind' concept sports bar set to create 50 jobs in Sunderland

A Sunderland hospitality company is set to create 50 jobs as it announces plans for a new concept sports bar.

Theatre Leisure, which runs The Rabbit in Sunderland, has secured a lease for the historic Victoria Buildings in the city centre, where it will invest £6m in the new venue.

The four storey space will feature a world sports bar called Streetbar SR1 in the downstairs area, with the upper levels becoming an “exclusive” bar area with a roof terrace named Victoria’s Loft.

The venue will open next month, and is part of Sunderland’s ongoing city centre transformation scheme.

Lee Robson, co-founder of Theatre Leisure, commented: “When the opportunity came up to take a lease out on this important and substantial space, we just couldn’t pass it up, and the timing is fortuitous with the easing of restrictions.

“Set over four floors with lots of room and an outside terrace, there’ll be plenty of space for people to enjoy a drink or a meal with friends and family. I have no doubt there will be an appetite for a new one-of-a-kind sports bar in Sunderland.

“We’ll be looking to employ local people and we think it’s great news for residents, visitors and the city as a whole as we look to the future.

“We’re really excited to be launching our new bar and we’ll be revealing more details soon. We’re currently overseeing a full refurbishment and we will be unveiling our new look in advance of the opening at the end of May.”

Giles McCourt, associate solicitor and real estate expert at leading law firm for businesses Muckle LLP, negotiated the lease on behalf of Theatre Leisure.

He said: “I’m delighted to help Lee and Dave [co-founders] to take over the lease of this fantastic historic building. The pair have taken this brave and ambitious decision at a time when the hospitality sector has endured its toughest year to date.

“It’s like a phoenix rising from the flames and it is wonderful to see such an important building being brought back into use for the benefit of Sunderland residents and visitors alike.

“I have no doubt that this new sports bar and restaurant will prove to be extremely popular and I wish Lee and Dave every success for their latest venture.”

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