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Vesta Tilleys, Sunderland Central, Sunderland

309 High Street West
Phone: 01915674668

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Vesta Tilleys

This is a relative newcomer to the city centre drinking scene, located opposite the Empire Theatre and named after a popular star who frequently performed there, including on opening night. The pub seems to have set itself up as a trendy bar, similar to others in close proximity, but notably aimed at a slightly older clientele. You enter into a front seating area with glazed brick tile walls over bench and standard chair seating and with various eye catching bits and bobs on the walls. The servery appears midway into the pub along the right hand wall, with a simple counter and the same glazed tiles on the bar back. Opposite is an open space for vertical drinkers, much in need on a packed early Saturday evening visit, with a couple of high tables and stools beyond, in front of a fake fire which was lit under a former chimney. Behind the chimney, on the left hand side of the room, there is a lower level with comfy fixed bench seating running along the end wall. Moving past the bar, to the rear of the pub, you climb a few steps to emerge into a large tile floored space with plenty more standing room and adequate seating around the perimeter. Large TV screens throughout were showing live football to an appreciative crowd, many of whom had just returned from a fixture at the Stadium of Light. For a new city centre venue, the décor seemed a little bland, with most interesting bits being confined to the front seating area - notably the only part of the pub visible from the street. A few fancy light fittings around the bar try to liven things up a bit, but otherwise it's mostly bare walls.
Unlike most bars of this type, real ale is available with the options on this visit comprising Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Maxim Double Maxim and Theakston Best. The latter set me back just £2.20 for a pint in good shape and served up by one of the friendly, hard working bar team. Despite this welcome addition, most of the punters I saw seemed content drinking lager or wine.
This is a decent enough bar and a good alternative to the usual chain bars if you're looking for a busy, lively environment at the weekend. The provision of some decent beer makes this worth investigation at quieter times and perhaps the success the place seems to be having will convince other such venues to put on an ale or two.

On 18th February 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2402 recommendations about 2402 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Vesta Tilleys

Recently opened. A Tardis-like place, the small street facing frontage disguises a massively long multi-tiered bar within. Head past a very smart black metro tiled lower entrance and seating area to the unashamedly modern and clearly very new main bar - you'd be forgiven in thinking you'd wandered into a Vodka Revs until you note that most of the clientèle are over 45. Seats in the area to the left overlook the green as does the small astroturfed beer garden with the added ‘pleasure’ of three 60s tower blocks looming. Loudish music and a multitude of muted screens made it quite a blokey atmosphere. Five pumps at the bar, four ales (Maxim Swedish Blonde & Double, Deuchars IPA and Theakston Best) plus Cheddar Valley Cider. Also an impressive range of bottles in the fridge. No complaints about my Swedish Blonde which slipped down nicely (ho ho). If you're crawling the city, this is worth having a look at.

On 25th June 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]