As recently stated in the Chronicle, the local rag in the North East of England and I quote; “Grey Street is becoming another Bigg Market’ - feared by local residents”. A little note of observation and sensibility here, Grey Street is nowhere near another Bigg Market. For one, people wear coats on Grey Street, there is no blood splatter on the pavement by 8 pm and your feet can move freely without being stuck to the floor. Fear not, local residents, you’re going to be absolutely fine.
Grey Street, however, has become an upmarket social hub in the city. There is an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants on the main thoroughfare and then some little hidden gems off the side streets, meaning that you can spend an entire evening partaking in a range of social activities from a visit to the theatre, dining, cinema, after work drinks or dance until dawn all within a few hundred metres. Grey Street has historically been a prestigious focal point in Newcastle, the buildings are largely listed and somewhat majestic, the first street in the UK to have electric street lighting and thanks to those silent electric buses the most likely place you will get hit by a bus, literally.
One of the newest additions to Grey Street is ‘All Bar One’. This is a chain establishment but the feel and the decor gives a nice nod to local nuances with local gins and North East themed decor. All Bar One have remodelled the existing Browns site same company but a different place. Browns was fancy and if I am honest a little lacklustre, you could never hear any music and the central bar space separating the restaurant and the bar area created a bit of a social wall, the atmosphere never quite felt right. Browns was also really bright inside, never good for someone of my age trying to look younger than their years, evening mood lighting is an essential prerequisite to any night out. The vibe in All Bar One is immediately different, the music is audible but not overbearing, furnishing is plush but not pretentious, the relocation of the bar to the back of the space draws you in and the positioning of seating from booths, to high tables and comfy snooks has something for all, whether that be meeting with friends, lunch with your Mum, after-work drinks, or a hot date.
The nice All Bar One people invited me and a guest for ‘Fizz Friday’ whereby Prosecco is £15 a bottle all evening long and to try out the tapas menu. An invitation for food and alcohol? See you there pal! So last Friday I hot-footed down Grey Street in the largest gold trousers known to fashion to see what wonders there were to behold. We booked our table for 7.45 pm and were welcomed in at the front door by very friendly door staff and then promptly seated by the front of house staff in a glorious padded booth in full view of the bar and the restaurant. We chatted with the staff about the menu and how the opening had been going so far. We ordered Prosecco that came ice cold and we sipped our fizz and began to peruse the menu. There are a variety of options including; vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian, a little something for everyone, we went for 5 dishes between us with a small side salad and that was the perfect amount. We ordered, Chilli Non-Carne Tacos (vegan option - £5.50), Vegetable Tempura (£5.50), Maple-glazed cocktail sausages (definitely not a vegan option - £5.95), Karrage sticky chicken bites (£6.50) and a side salad. We wanted to try the lamb meatballs but they had run out so we substituted for the sausages which were pleasant but a little heavy on the coating for me. The Vegetable tempura, however, was delicious as were the Karrage chicken bites, nom nom nom, wolfed down off the lot and seriously started to regret the choice of a crop top.
We were having such a pleasant time that we wanted to take in the bar ambience a little so we had the pleasure of sampling some cocktails including a classic Cosmopolitan and Candy Pink Fizz. I am somewhat of a Cosmopolitan connoisseur and always die a little inside when they arrive deep red and even worse with a twist of lemon. None of that here, the perfect pinky tone with a singed orange peel, perfection, Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.
We spent the majority of the evening there and I am looking forward to going back through the day when the mood will be different again, next on my list is the Bottomless Brunch, with a range of delicious dishes of perfect breakfast to lunch favorites such as eggs Benedict or sweet Belgian waffles accompanied by unlimited fizz, bloody marys or mimosa’s, what better way is there to spend a Sunday lunchtime as a shopping stop. Just a disclaimer here from me or All Bar One, neither party is responsible for the purchases you make after you have tried this experience, you have all shopped post alcohol lunch haven’t you? Why else would I have tartan patch trousers?
All Bar One is open daily from 9 am-11 pm (late on weekends) and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as some perfect picky snacks and an extensive drinks menu.