Chloe Shakesby

Newcastle seafood restaurant to become American-style sports bar as sale completes

A business property advisor has announced that it has completed the sale of a former restaurant in Newcastle.

Christie & Co has confirmed that it has sold the site of Nova Seafood & Grill, which is on High Bridge Street in the centre of the city.

The previous owners, David and Penny Tilly, opened the restaurant in 2018, and have now made the decision to sell to focus on opening a new venture – the Hard Rock Café on Newcastle Quayside.

Nova Seafood & Grill has been purchased by Michael Grayson, a local businessman who has plans to turn the restaurant into an American-style sports bar.

David commented: “We got to know David [Cash] at Christie & Co when we were looking to buy/open our first restaurant, so when it came to disposing of the High Bridge St site we knew he would be well placed to move it on for us.

“We had lots of early interest in the restaurant with more than one offer at the time, but we decided to go with Michael’s bid.

“The deal was agreed pre-lockdown and then everything stalled until the announcement that restaurants and bars could reopen. David managed the process brilliantly and helped progress the deal at the earliest opportunity. We’re delighted with the result!”

Michael said: “We’ve been looking for the right site for our concept for a while and when Nova became available, we worked very hard to make sure we were the successful bidders.

“High Bridge Street is perfect for what we are looking to do – it’s already home to lots of successful, independent businesses and we want to add to that.

“We will be starting work immediately on turning the venue into an American-style sports bar called Hen & Hops, with a focus on chicken wings, hot sauces and craft beers & ciders.

“This is definitely a brand we are looking to roll out elsewhere and we’re already working with David Cash at Christie & Co to identify other possible locations for us.”

David Cash, director at Christie & Co, added: “High Bridge Street has been popular for some time now and with the improvement of the Bigg Market and Groat Market, the area has become even more desirable, so we knew the restaurant would prove popular when we went to market.

“There was interest from many local, independent operators who all saw an opportunity in a relatively small site in this prime location.

“It is reassuring that hospitality operators still see value in city centre sites, despite the challenging times we are in and with footfall in the city centre being depleted. We look forward to seeing Michael’s plans take form.”

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