In a breathtaking spectacle last Tuesday, the brand-new café at ROKER PARK was gracefully positioned into its home within the historic park, all thanks to the assistance of a colossal crane.
This café stands poised to become the focal point of the park’s latest phase of enhancements, which come with a price tag of £1.6 million. Visitors can look forward to savouring picturesque vistas of the Grade II listed bandstand, as well as the enchanting fairy dell and ravine, all while enjoying the comforts of this charming addition.
After arriving in sections on the back of two articulated vehicles and being lifted into position near the bandstand, the timber-clad building is set to be fitted out in the coming days and weeks, ahead of opening for business in the next few weeks.
Councillor Alison Smith, Deputy Cabinet Member for Dynamic City at Sunderland City Council, said:
“It was really exciting to see the new café being lifted into place. It’s such a lovely location for it. I think it’s going to be massively popular. It’s a fantastic asset for the park and hopefully it will appeal to residents and visitors alike.
“This is the latest stage in our continued transformation of the park following the restoration of water features including the waterfall and the boating lake. Now the café is in place, we’ll be starting work on a landscaping scheme with amphitheatre style seating overlooking the bandstand and improvements to existing planting schemes.
“Later this year we’ll also be starting work on the restoration of the historic Victorian listed bandstand, the refurbishment of the former park-keeper’s lodge and the installation of an accessible changing places toilet, so it’s is a really exciting time for the park.
“It’ also another fantastic addition to our award winning seafront which has seen millions of pounds of investment in recent years to make it a year-round visitor destination. This has already helped bring in new businesses and visitor attractions including Stack Seaburn, the Tin of Sardines, North restaurant and the new Black’s Corner at the Tram Shelter. And just last week we announced plans to develop a new children’s play park at Seaburn. These developments not only provide a boost to the local economy all year round but keep families coming back time after time.”
Hannah Jackson-Harrison, the creator behind Seaham’s popular Flamingo Café, who will be running the new café with colleague Joanne Woods, can’t wait to move into the new space.
She has named the new café Ruhe, the German word for peace and tranquillity and will be serving up a menu of salads, superfoods and more using produce from local suppliers.
“We can’t wait to showcase what we have to offer on our carefully designed menu and also equally excited to integrate into an already thriving community.
“We have hopes for Ruhe to become a local “hub”, a place where friends and family come to meet, a space for arts and craft evenings and a general go-to place for a fresh, made to order brunch.”
The new café building has been supplied by Portable Space which specialises in shipping containers and conversions.
Ian Stringer, Production Manager at Portable Space, said:
“The Portable Space team is proud to have played a role in the revitalization of Roker Park, providing a bespoke café conversion that was functional and aesthetically pleasing. We’re excited to see the positive impact it will have on the community and can’t wait to see it thrive.”