For all our north east, and in particular Newcastle readers, or alternatively if you’re planning a trip to the ‘Toon’ any time soon, here is the first is in what is likely to become a regular features of recommended places to eat and drink in the City.
Welcome to the world of the Hop & Cleaver, a brand new bar and eatery on Newcastle’s Quayside. They smoke their own meats, brew their own small batch craft beers, and love inventing all manner of cocktails. They really are bringing a taste of the States to Tyneside.
The addition of the Hop & Cleaver to Newcastle’s Quayside is just the latest addition in a transformation of the famous area, which is now fast becoming the city’s gastro-mile.
15 years ago the Quayside was the place to be seen in Newcastle, however over the coming years it’s popularity waned, and party-goers on the whole moved on to pastures new such as amply bar lined Collingwood Street (Diamond Strip as it’s more commonly known), and Grey Street, and people did wonder what was to become of the area.
It could’ve slipped away in the annals of history, however forward-thinking developers have brought the bars out of hibernation, and with the additions or restaurants and hotels the Quayside is now well and truly bac k on the map. In the last couple of years we have seen openings for Kenny Atkinson’s gourmet restaurant House of Tides, Redhouse, Popolo’s, The Bridge Tavern, and Tiger Hornsby, all of which have taken their place alongside stalwarts such as Cafe 21 and Sabatini.
Ladhar Leisure were also quick off the draw, forking out £700,000 and creating the Hop & Cleaver from the former Offshore 44 bar and turning it into the spectacular cavernous bar and smokehouse.
Those who once visited Offshore 44 will recognise the cobbled floor and 17th century Jacobean timber frames – but the Hop & Cleaver have gone even more rustic with the decor.
The Hop & Cleaver also has its own brewery which produces exclusive cask ales on the premises, with punters being able to see the ales being created and served alongside a range of other popular craft beers, and in the private areas you can actually pull your own pints.
You can also get alcoholic milkshakes, and there are also be more than 50 rare bourbons from the USA on offer to complement the food.
And the food is a meat-lovers paradise; burgers, sliders, ribs, wings, skewers, 14 hour brisket, 12 hour pulled pork, or even chilli mac and cheese, with it’s piece de resistance being the Tomahawk Steak.
You can tell they are passionate about their barbeque, and passionate about doing it right! So much so they imported American smoking ovens from Ponca City, Oklahoma and a selection of mesquite, hickory and fruit woods to produce delicious, delicate smokey flavours for the exceptional quality, local meats.
Working with local suppliers and producers they keep the quality high, the food miles low and the taste exceptional. The majority of their meat comes from Freemans butchers who only use the best meats, including pure beef bred limousin beef from matfen, farmed by Frank Robson, and rare breed, outdoor reared pigs for deliciously tasty, meaty ribs. Their sausages are hand made by Peter from the Amble Butcher. Delicately spiced, each one is individually hand tied with string to hang in their smoker before being charred at over 500 degrees to lock in the juices! It really does make the ultimate in hot dogs! He also makes the dry cured bacon, which is delicately smoke over oak; it’s the perfect way to finish the ultimate cheese and bacon burger.
They also make their own spice rubs and sauces for all the dishes from scratch for an authentic, unique flavour that you can’t get anywhere else!
And last, but not least, their bread comes courtesy of Geordie Bakers - hand made every morning, it’s the perfect carrier for the 14 hour smoked pulled pork.
You can pretty much be sure that any dish you pick will have been made with love, care and attention ready for you to devour!
For more information please head on over to their website here.