COLOUR changing cocktails and a tiki-style taste of the tropics are among the treats in store at a new Tyneside venue.
The Union Rooms – formerly Wetherspoon’s – at Westgate Road, is set to re-launch on 23 November following a multi-million-pound facelift by new owner, Newcastle-based Cyclone Leisure Group.
And one of the region’s most accomplished mixologists has been brought on board to ensure the venue’s cocktails reflect the very latest trends.
Chris Fumoleau will head a 25-strong bar team, having learned his trade at multiple high-end hotels and restaurants, such as Café 21, The Vermont Hotel, The Launderette and Alvino’s.
In his new role he has not only devised a cocktail menu which reflects current ingredients and techniques, but he also intensively trained his team so that each drink can be made quickly and accurately – with presentation a key component.
“My aim is to bring customers cocktails that so far haven’t been seen outside cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh and London,” he said, “with ingredients they have probably never heard of.
“We’ll be using butterfly pea flowers, for example, to create drinks that change colour and we will even be making our own soda water – to a closely guarded recipe – that also changes colour,” he said.
The cocktail menu will also expand the current trend for elaborate tiki bar-themed drinks, such as rum-based mixed drinks such as the mai tai and zombie cocktail.
“I’m really aiming to bring customers the very best, most exciting cocktails I possibly can,” said Chris.
“It’s not about deals, or about special offers but about buying a superb drink made with care and attention from the best ingredients.”
Cyclone Leisure Group incorporates Lorenzo North East which operates San Lorenzo restaurants at Gosforth and Washington.
Managing director Stuart Young said: “Although our bars will be fully stocked with everything from wines and spirits to real ales, lagers and soft drinks, cocktails are increasingly a big part of a night out.
“We are delighted to welcome Chris to the team.”
Anyone who signs up to the Union Rooms newsletter will get the chance to win tickets to a VIP opening event on Thursday 22 November.
Details on how to join the mailing list are available on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unionrooms/