A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: IIHalf Moon Lane
Tel: (0191) 478 2543
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: Newcastle
Station Distance: 900m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Newcastle Central) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
This imposing corner-site building between the Tyne and High Level bridges dates from 1854, designed by architect M. Thompson as premises for a wine merchant, Alderman Potts. It became a hotel about 1890 and this is, no doubt, the date when the star feature, the Buffet Bar, was fitted out. This is now styled the Whisky Bar thanks to the wide range of the said spirit on offer. It has a U-shaped counter with an impressive front of broad segmental arches and a tremendously ornate bar-back. There is also fixed seating, half-height panelling, etched glass in the doors, a fine ceiling and deep plasterwork frieze. This room is open Fri–Sat evenings but may be viewed at other times on request. Elsewhere, panelling survives in the hallway staircase whilst the public bar has further panelling and a partially old bar counter. The sharp angle of the site explains the unusual triangular shape of the snug which is set beyond the Buffet Bar. It has impressively large etched windows, giving it a light and airy feel. After a long period of neglect the Central was carefully restored in 2010 and is now a haven for real ale and cider.
A three-storey wedge-shaped building dated 1854 by M Thompson for Alderman Potts, local wine merchant. It became a hotel in c.1890 and still retains a superb intact 'Buffet Bar', the reason for its inclusion as a Heritage Pub.
The Buffet Bar entrance is half way down either side of the building and in the passage the inner door has decorative etched panels, also the door has a 'Buffet' glazed pane. This small room has a bare wood floor, with U-shaped carved original bar counter, very good original decorative carved bar back, original fixed seating, half panelling, etched 'Buffet' glass panel in the rear right door, fine ceiling, and plasterwork frieze with figures of putti, original fixed seating in two sections but no sign of a fireplace. The projection behind the bar-back used to house a dumb waiter running the full height of the building.
The sharp angle of the building creates an interestingly shaped room beyond the Buffet Bar with a glazed 'Snug' panel in door, seating around the apex probably of the 1950s and colourful leaded lights. The bare boarded public bar has new bar fittings which replaced ones installed in the 1950s. It is said that there used to be drinking cubicles in this area originally. This room has a good panelled segmented ceiling, some full-height fielded panelling, "The Central" cut glass panels in the inner twin doors, and an old bench with '....' carved into it and a makers label.
On the staircase in the hallway there is walnut half-height panelling running up the staircase and around the first-floor landing. On the first floor the Blue Room has old dado panelling painted light blue and there is an old bench, possibly from the public bar. It is in use for bands on Sunday from 4pm to 7pm. The Red Room has three pieces of old red leatherette benches also from the public bar, a modern bar has been added and is now the pool room. On the second floor is a smoking terrace and room with a modern bar.
The Buffet Bar has recently been re-styled as the Whisky Lounge' and is open Friday & Saturday evenings from 6pm. If you want to visit it at other times bar staff will be happy to open it up for you.