A Middlesbrough shopping centre that was once home to a several popular night spots has turned back time by welcoming a new drinking spot after a 17-year hiatus.
Cleveland Centre once hosted such popular night spots as The Madison, Macy’s Bar, Billy Paul’s, Rumpole’s, The Erimus, The Strand and The Lion and Falcon.
The last of them, The Madison nightclub, closed for the last time in 2000 and the Centre has been a booze-free zone ever since.
Now Teesside’s first-ever pop-up champagne bar has been launched in the Cleveland Centre by the mother of former Boro star Luke Williams.
Geraldine Williams has launched Cobblers for the festive period – with a promise to extend its stay if it proves as popular as she hopes it will be.
Along with brother and business partner Tony, Geraldine has opened the bar opposite the Disney Store to give shoppers a fun alternative to pubs and coffee shops.
Geraldine said: “Pop-up bars have proved really popular in the big shopping centres such as Meadowhall and the Metro Centre, so we wanted to do the same thing in the Cleveland Centre.
“It’s quick, easily accessible, fashionable and high end.
“We think it’s perfect for the modern shopping malls, offering a different alternative to resting your legs in a coffee shop, especially at this festive time of year.
“We’re giving a real option to the girls who fancy a quick drink while out doing the Christmas shopping or the men who want to sit and have a drink while their other halves shop till they drop!”
Along with champagne, Cobblers serves exclusive Colombian wine, a special range of prosecco, a selection of spirits and Japanese beer, plus tea and coffee too.
Geraldine, who is also well-known for running Grangetown Netball Club, already owns a Cobblers champagne bar on Cleveland Street in Normanby with Tony, while they also run the neighbouring pub, The Cleveland, and another popular local drinking hole, The Tiger.
“I’m excited about our latest venture,” she added. “Life’s about experimenting.”
Cleveland Centre manager Graeme Skillen said: “We’re always happy to welcome exciting new ideas and we think this one is fantastic.
“It’s the first time the Cleveland Centre has hosted a drinking venue since The Madison closed in 2000.
“Our shoppers will no doubt also enjoy recalling many of the once-popular local night spots we hosted in the Centre. It’s easy to forget just how many there were.
“So Cobblers has brought some festive cheer for shoppers and given us all a trip back in time, so we’ll raise our glasses to their ongoing success.”
Cobblers is open from 11am each day until Cleveland Centre’s closing time, including late shopping nights.