Bonbar on Fenkle Street is a premier drinking, dining and entertainment venue, situated within Newcastle’s Grade 2 Listed Assembly Rooms building.
The venue opened in March 2014 – following a £1 million refurbishment programme of works – and comprises a bar, a restaurant, an exclusive members’ lounge and an outdoor terrace area with champagne bar.
The Assembly Rooms is owned by Anthony Michaelides, who took over the business from his father in 2000. The Michaelides family has successfully managed the premises for the last 40 years after rescuing the derelict building from demolition in 1974 and the opening of Bonbar presents a new chapter in the building’s history.
Bonbar owner, Antony Michaelides, said:
“After months of hard work, I was so pleased to open Bonbar to the public. It is a magnificent venue and we believe it offers something unique to the Newcastle social scene. We handpicked and trained a fantastic team and offer unrivalled service as well as exceptional products and extraordinary entertainment.
“We have delivered something on a scale that hasn’t been seen in Newcastle for some time and something the city desperately needed. We have retained the original features and reinstated many to public view. I have long thought it a crime not to be using this building for the intention for which it was built, which is to get people socialising in person. Bonbar breathes new life into what is a uniquely important venue.”
Newcastle-based marketing consultants DDCA worked on the rebranding of the venue, whilst Void Design provided architectural services.
The interior of Bonbar showcases classic Georgian architecture, featuring the original ornate cornicing and columns, whilst presenting a modern twist. The main room features an illuminated centrepiece bar with timber fins, whilst leather booths surround the bar and provide a more intimidate area to relax and socialise.
Bonbar boasts the only Bose RoomMatch Sound System outside London, whilst a bespoke wall mural depicting a forest scene is the backdrop for the main stage area. Meanwhile, the adjacent ‘467 club’ is an exclusive members lounge for the most discerning of customers. The lavish décor features suspended glass pendants, deep button crushed velvet booths and a big screen TV projecting the music from the main bar.
Bonbar’s unique cocktail menu reflects the classic and contemporary interior design and architecture of the building. From vintage favourites like Parisian 75 made famous by the film Casablanca to modern tipples like What’s Poppin, a quirky blend of Brugal Blanco Run infused with popcorn shaken with Frangelico Hazelnut and a helping of popcorn.
The Assembly Rooms has always prided itself on its reputation for serving top quality food catering for all tastes and Bonbar’s menu is no exception. Dishes include delectable sharing boards, Aged Northumbrian Steak and The BFC (Bon Fried Chicken). If it’s dessert you are after, there are both sweet and savoury options from gooey chocolate torte to cheese boards and all can be washed down with a glass or two from an extensive wine list.