ONE of Newcastle’s most popular and historic bars is set for a multi-million pound facelift, with work due to start in the next few weeks.

The Union Rooms at Westgate Road will boast a pizza restaurant, garden room and sports bar under plans revealed by owners, Cyclone Newcastle Ltd.

The iconic building was previously home to a JD Wetherspoons bar, but was snapped up by businessman Stuart Young, director at Cyclone Leisure last year.

Dating back to 1877, The Union Rooms started life as a gentleman’s club called The Union Club and counted 19th Century industrialist and engineer Lord Armstrong among its members.

Under the new proposals, its rich heritage will be celebrated as the Grade II listed building’s original features are retained and brought to life.

Cyclone Newcastle Ltd is part of the Cyclone Leisure Group which also incorporates Lorenzo North East which operates San Lorenzo restaurants in Gosforth and Washington.

“We are aiming to create something amazing in the city centre, transforming The Union Rooms into more than just another bar,” said Mr Young.

“With current works ongoing to improve that whole area, we are located in one of Newcastle’s most prominent positions.

“The team has been working hard on plans and ideas on how we can transform the building into the city’s premier eating and drinking establishment.”

The work is set to include refurbishments to the main bar areas to create more space and a fixed seating area, while putting a stronger emphasis on food.

An open pizza area will utilise the firm’s Italian restaurant background, with work due to start imminently while the bar remains open for business. It will then close for a few weeks in October, with completion due by mid-November.

“Our plan is to start work on the bar areas in the next couple of weeks, but we will remain open for business with individual areas closing as and when required,” he said.

“We will be transforming the main bar area into somewhere customers can relax and enjoy fine food and drinks, and we believe our open pizza area will be a popular addition.

“Our intention is to highlight the incredible unique features of this fantastic city centre building, bringing its original features back to life.

“Once we have completed the bar area, we plan to start on the next part of the refurbishment which we hope will also include hotel accommodation and a few more top secret ideas. All will be revealed in due course.”

Cyclone Leisure currently employs around 100 staff across its various businesses and expects to create a further 20 jobs once the renovation is complete.