Wetherspoons creates 25 jobs after the £1.5m High Main pub opens in Byker

CannyBrewWetherspoons is creating 25 new jobs with the opening of its latest pub, The High Main, in the Byker area of Newcastle.

The company has spent £1.5 million over the last three months creating the pub – which takes its name from the former Lawson Main Colliery nearby – which is on the site of a former wallpaper and paint shop on Shields Road.

“Myself and my team are looking forward to welcoming customers into the pub and we are confident that it will be a great addition to Byker’s community,” said manager Jenna McTurk, who previously worked at the firm’s Tilley Stone pub in central Gateshead.

“We’re confident that we’ll contribute to Byker,” said Darren Thompson, a duty manager transferred from The Quayside ahead of the pubs opening on October 22, “we’re not just another drinking hole, we’re focussed on food and drink.”

“We don’t want to compete with other pubs on Shields Road, we want to be part of a route with them, and be part of the community.”

Lawson Main Colliery stood at the east end of Shields Road, near Brough Park Greyhound Stadium.

The coal mine, and the nearby quarry, was named after the Lawson family, from Brough, in Yorkshire, who had owned most of old Byker since 1543. “Main” referred to the High Main coal seam.

The new pub, Weatherspoon’s 11th in Tyne and Wear, will be open from 8am until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 8am until 1am on Friday and Saturday.

Alcohol will be served from 10am and food will be served until 11pm every day, though as a condition on the licence Newcastle City Council have granted, both adults and children must order a meal if the parent wishes to buy booze, with under 18s only welcome until 8pm.

“We’re a family oriented pub, but being on the doorstep of Heaton, we welcome students as much as everybody else,” said Darren.

As for the beers, ex-Mile Castle cellar-man Mal Hall has moved to reassure ale aficionados.

“There’ll never be a waiting period between one ale going off and the next one coming on,” he said. “There’ll always be something ready.”

With local brewery Maxim on the bar for opening day, Hall wants to keep the pub stocked with local favourites – such as Sonnet 43, Mordue, Big Lamp and High House Farm – and to that end he’s to set up an “ale corner” and will welcome suggestions from customers, including Camra members to whom he’s offering a 20p discount on each pint of real ale that they buy.