Long-established café lounge bar, The Black Olive, is under new management – and there are jobs on the menu at the Hartlepool Marina establishment as its new owners start to ring the changes.

New owners Jake Ogden, Mike Racz and Jamie Pennington have big plans to invest in The Black Olive to ensure it fulfils its potential as Hartlepool’s leading spirit and cocktail bar.

Having recruited experienced Emily Piddington as the bar’s new manager, they are now looking to take on more new staff including a head chef, bar supervisor, kitchen porter, mixologists, and both full and part-time bar staff.

The new owners have already invested in new kitchen equipment and luxurious furniture, while plans are in place to invest £20,000 in a striking new bar.

But co-owner Pennington – who is also managing director of Tees-based social media marketing experts Viral Effect – says they’re already attracting new customers with a vastly extended range of gins and champagnes.

“With 50 different types of gin, we think we’ve probably got the biggest selection anywhere in Hartlepool and one of the biggest across Teesside,” said Pennington. “We’ve got more gins than most gin bars!

“We’ve also increased our stock to offer a wider range of cocktails, while for those who want to splash out we can offer some fabulous champagnes, including Arman De Brignac which is £475 a bottle.”

Pennington believes the management change has taken place with perfect timing as Hartlepool Marina enjoys a resurgence following recent investments and a surge of new bar and restaurant openings.

“We’re looking to bring a touch of luxury to the Marina,” he said. “We aim to be the go-to venue within the town’s go-to destination.

“The Black Olive has long been a well-known bar in the town but the market is changing, and people are spending more money on eating out and drinking.

“We have a fantastic location with superb views across the Marina. The area is thriving and we have what we believe to be the best looking bar in Hartlepool – and we plan to make it even better.

“Emily’s experience within the industry will be invaluable. She’s very organised and has lots of amazing ideas that we’ll be looking to introduce in the weeks and months ahead.

“We’ve already extended our opening hours to seven days a week, while we’ve also introduced a new menu. It’s a really exciting time.”

New manager Emily, who had previously spent eight years as manager of the Victoria in Saltburn, said: “The Black Olive has great potential as it’s already well known and established alongside a number of other nice bars at the Marina.

“But we’re determined to make it Hartlepool’s number one cocktail bar and restaurant, somewhere people can come down to for a drink or a meal daytime or evening, weekday or weekend.

“We’ve got some really enthusiastic staff who are full of great ideas so we’ll be looking to launch new events very soon.”

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