The Central Hotel as it is called, although always known as 'the coffin', because of its shape, was always a real traditional old pub. Used on a couple of occasions in the past in movies, The Central was always known as a bit of a rough dive, but always worth a visit because of its character.
It was allowed to fall into abysmal disrepair but the Head of Steam pub group managed to get some help and lottery money, to completely refurbish it, inside and out. A good job they've made of it too, without losing too much of its old ambience.
With live music upstairs and reasonable food served along with some wonderful real ale (about 8 to choose from) downstairs. Its taken about 2 years to get it to its present state, opening a bit at a time.
On Cask Task's 3 visits over the past 18 months or so its been interesting to see its development and sample some of these beers. Wylam Angel, York Brewery Guzzler, Consett Cast Iron, Ossett Brewery Corker, Copper Dragon Brewery Freddie Truman, Black Sheep, Marston Moor Brewery Cromwell and Hadrian and Border Brewery Byker Light.
Walk out of the door, down the bank, and you're on the old Swing Bridge and the Quayside. Marvelous.