May 11, 2018
If every station bar re-discovered its past grandeur as this has, more people would travel by train. Sat right in Newcastle’s Central Station so impossible to miss even if you’re new in town with entrances both inside and outside the station, Centurion used to be where well-heeled first class Victorian travellers would idle under a spectacular tiled roof, which was subsequently plastered with red paint by ‘decorators’ in the 1960s! Worth millions, the rest of the bar is equally ornate with a large Bryon Dawson mural facing the bar. There’s a straightforward if a little uninspired food menu (and an attached coffee shop / sandwich place that sits inside the station concourse, and caters primarily to travellers). Its location has given it a slightly schizophrenic air, especially during the day on weekdays, when it can seem a slightly dark and gloomy mix of daytime drinkers watching sports results spool out on the wall-mounted TVs, and those killing time with a pint before their journey. At the weekends things get a bit more cheerful: it’s often a first stop for incoming stag and hen parties, though it’s a less popular option than the brighter, younger bars across the road, so rarely gets overwhelmed, and generally caters to the cheerfully unpretentious locals of which Newcastle has an abundant supply. The place to order a beer or ale rather than a cocktail, perhaps, it’s down-to-earth vibe somewhat at odds with the décor, it’s a popular spot that can get busy at peak times. There’s also live jazz on Tuesdays if you fancy a bit of mid-week music.