May 11, 2018
Opened in 1998, the Pacific Bar is big in every sense. It cost a reputed £7 million and sprawls over three floors. Inside the glass-fronted modern space of Pacific House, there are chrome staircases and hi-tech lights – even the toilets have a space age feel. The top floor is given over to the restaurant area which serves a decent (if not exactly innovative or surprising) selection of meals and the all-day breakfast will set you up for the day’s activities, whether it’s shopping or simply more drinking (there’s also a veggie option available which is pretty tasty). The mezzanine level has pool tables and downstairs there’s the large main bar where the serious drinking is done. It’s a sports bar well-stocked with widescreen TVs that screen live matches, and this combined with a central location can mean it gets very, very busy when there are big games on (especially when Newcastle is playing), and Friday and Saturdays the place is usually packed to the rafters. But otherwise during the day it tends to attract a fairly laid back crowd of shoppers seeking a break; a short walk from the main shopping drag, it’s a popular place to refuel for the next attack on your credit card before you hit the stores again. Things get a lot livelier at night, and there are regular DJ slots to keep the place hopping. There’s a decent range of cocktails, beers and ales available (usually around 5 cask ales on draft) and drinks promotions aplenty. The opening buzz may have abated and the place isn’t as ‘in’ as it may have been, but it has an appealingly clean and contemporary feel and can still draw in the crowds.