First-look plans of City Campus restaurant revealed

This is the first sneak peek of what Sunderland College’s commercial city centre restaurant will look like.

The college has unveiled initial artist’s impressions of the bistro which is being built as part of its £29 million City Campus development in the heart of Sunderland.

Work is now well underway on the flagship campus, near Holmeside, which will house a range of vocational courses and commercial facilities. The college’s award-winning restaurant, the Lounge Bistro and Bar, will be relocating from Hylton campus to its new-look destination when City Campus opens for business in September 2016.

Boasting a modern bistro design, the restaurant will feature wooden finishes and contemporary decor, with a combination of banquet and traditional seating for varying party sizes. Diners will be able to watch the chefs creating and serving their dishes through an open pass, and clients who prefer a more personal approach to their dining experience can book the chef’s table in the restaurant kitchen.

A two-storey feature ceiling has been incorporated into the design, along with a separate bar area and a space for clients to enjoy coffee and cake during the day. The 80-cover restaurant will be open to the public and will offer themed events, coffee and cake, lunch and a la carte evening meals, using the finest fresh, local ingredients and seasonable produce.

Its opening hours will reflect the commercial needs of city centre clientele, and has been designed by Red Box Architecture as an independent restaurant, accessible to the public when the college is closed. The Lounge Bistro and Bar will be managed by a team of professional chefs and front-of-house staff, who will be supported by catering and hospitality students.

Recently awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the second year running, the college is looking to build on the success of the restaurant when it moves to the city centre.

Rob Stewart, curriculum leader for catering and hospitality, said:

“We are confident that the Lounge Bistro and Bar will be a hit in the city centre. We will be offering a quality dining experience in a modern environment, serving delicious food at reasonable prices, and of course we’ll be showcasing the next generation of cheffing talent.

“We are also keen to involve local organisations to ensure we work together as part of the business community in the city, and to tailor the skills and qualifications of our students to meet the demands of the regional economy.”

The college will be growing its range of full-time and part-time catering and hospitality courses once City Campus opens, with new programmes including Professional Patisserie and Confectionary at Levels 2 and 3, and Professional Food and Beverage Service at Level 2.

Rob added:

“We are very excited to be moving to City Campus and to introduce our students’ talents to Sunderland city centre. We still have another year at our Hylton campus and we will be making the most of this time, developing our courses and growing opportunities, to ensure our students hit the ground running when we open our state-of-the-art facilities.”

City Campus will feature high quality learning environments and will be home to students on vocational courses including advanced engineering, manufacturing, construction trades, automotive trades, travel and tourism, hair and beauty, and catering and hospitality.

In addition to the Lounge Bistro and Bar, the campus will feature hair, beauty, and barbering salons, a spa, a bakery, a travel agency and a car repair service.

Contractor BAM Construction began work on the site in January. The high-tech campus is being funded through the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), Sunderland City Council and college reserves, and land has been secured from Homes and Communities Agency.