‘Every species has its pub’ – Rhys Ifans
One of the best things I ever did blogging wise was review the Split Chimp in its original carnation round the back of Newcastle station opposite the Telegraph. This was a great shout of mine because that became the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and one of the best bars in Newcastle.
When former paramedic Mark Hall moved his micro pub round the corner to the ‘other side of the arches’ to give him a little more space, it still maintained that cosy, small intimate feel. We’ve been regulars at the Chimp since then and become good friends with Mark and his wife Jeanette.
So when he told me he was branching out and creating ‘Chimp 2’ at the swanky newly refurbed Spanish City in Whitley Bay I was both ecstatic and cautious. I made my feelings quite clear that is the new space was too large all the charm would be lost and I would boycott it with immediate effect.
Who knew I was a key player in the pub management game because my wise words were heeded and the new Split Chimp is perfect. I took Ang along for the VIP launch on Thursday night and from the cosy welcoming orange lights from the outside we were drawn to it like moths to a flame. The fact that the entrance is outward facing onto the promenade is ideal as I reckon there will be good footfall and passing trade rather than having to go into the complex itself.
There’s a long fully stocked bar, including all the different weird and wonderful ales you’ll be used to if you’re a regular at Chimp 1. A couple booths and benches to sit on are on either side of the pub as you walk in, as well as some standing tables and ledges around the side to rest your drinks.
One thing I’m particularly excited about is visiting in the summer were there are plans to have benches outside with full view of the beach and the sea – a perfect setting for afternoon prosecco sessions with the girls.
I mean let’s be honest. This was never a place I was going to slag off, but if I’m going to put my name as an ambassador for anywhere it’s going to be something I’m genuinely passionate about and good company, good locations and good booze is for sure a passion of mine. Chimp 2 certainly ticks all my boxes (if you pardon the expression!)