AN 'ultra-premium' cocktail bar and fine-dine restaurant aiming to become the destination of the North has just opened its doors in the region.

The swanky new 3Sixty Champagne Lounge on the 26th floor of Newcastle's Hadrian's Tower finally opened last week.

The venue, which is the first of its kind - and the highest in the region, has already seen huge demand with Saturdays fully booked until September.

Boasting panoramic views of the city, the venue is so high you can even see the coast, ships docked in the Port of Tyne and Sunderland's Northern Spire.

Read more: We stayed at the new INNSiDE Newcastle hotel - and this is what we thought

It had been originally due to open back in December but following continued restrictions and introduction of the national lockdown, this was postponed.

Speaking to The Northern Echo Chris Hunter, the venue's general manager, described what its very first week in business had been like after finally opening last Monday. 

Mr Hunter, who previously ran The Sea Hotel in South Shields, said: "There has been lots of work and planning going into opening and now we're here - it's exciting.

Read more: Stirks Italian Steakhouse opens inside Belmont pub near Durham City

"People's reaction when they see it for the first time is what makes it - when they come out of the lift, especially at night and see the lights of the city and the views."

The Northern Echo:

The venue is on the 26th floor of the 27 storey, Hadrian's Tower Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

It is run by the Newcastle-based, High Street Group who also own the tower itself Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

Customers must travel up a lift, exclusively for 3Sixty guests before arriving on the 26th floor Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

Views extend for miles across the city, Gateshead and even Sunderland Picture: JIM SCOTT

Owned by the Newcastle-firm, High Street Group, who also own the skyscraper, the venue is aiming to rival similar set-ups in the likes of Manchester, Leeds and London.

Aaron King-Underwood, events director at 3Sixty, said the opening of such a venue marked a turning point for the region as he said there was nothing quite like it before.

'The first in the North-East'

He said: “It’s very much a concept down in London but this is the first in the North-East.

"I think people think we are very Geordie Shore and people don’t want to pay a premium experience, but if it works in Manchester it will work here.

"We have got the clientele, we just never had the right people to do it.

"We’ve had people coming in at 10am on a Wednesday buying a bottle of champagne, it's been bizarre – but it's great to see a new lease of life to the city."

With capacity for around 100 people, the venue also has almost 50 full and part-time staff to give visitors a unique experience.

Mr King-Underwood said: “It’s not just a food or drink venue, it’s an experience coming here, to experience the high life."

The Northern Echo:

No expense has been spared as even the single chairs cost as much as £800 each Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

It serves up a range of food options and drinks - with different areas for guests Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

It offers spectacular views of Newcastle City Centre Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

It opened on Monday, May 17 as restrictions on indoor hospitality were eased Picture: JIM SCOTT

Due to the venue's height, up to 100 customers are allowed to be served at any one time to help aid with evacuation procedures.

The venue's owners say that means the tables are already socially-distanced, and are able to provide more "exclusivity" with the number of people at any one time.

The venue is currently open to walk-ins on weekdays, but advises customers to ensure they have a booking during prime times including Friday and Saturday.

Mr King-Underwood said 3Sixty is hoping to offer something for everyone with brunch as doors open, three-course fine-dining in the day, right through to cocktails on an night.

He added: "The venue is a turning point for the North, it’s a high rise ultra premium, fine drinking and dining experience.

"The demand has just been insane, our prime slots for Saturday – they're booked up all the way through to September/October time."

The Northern Echo:

The venue is marketed as an "ultra-premium" experience for anyone Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

Even to the detail, customers are reminded of the expense spent Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

The venue transforms on an evening as the city centre below lights up Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

Tables are already socially-distanced as the venue can only legally hold up to 100 people Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

It was originally due to open in December 2020, but was postponed due to lockdown Picture: JIM SCOTT

The Northern Echo:

The bar will open til late seven days a week Picture: JIM SCOTT

The opening of 3Sixty comes as a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments, including three penthouse suites, have so far been sold or let in Hadrian's Tower.

At the turn of the year, the developer confirmed three quarters of the apartments were set to be occupied as work was completed in December 2020.

At the time James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East of England Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have watched, with eager anticipation, as Hadrian’s Tower has arisen in the heart of Newcastle.

“To see it reach fruition is very exciting, especially as it has been completed in the face of the Covid crisis. 

Gary Forrest, chairman of the High Street Group, added: “We are exceptionally proud of Hadrian’s Tower, which is testament to the vision, dedication and imagination of our team and creates a new community in the heart of Newcastle.

“Hadrian’s Tower is quickly becoming the most-sought after address in Newcastle, offering the type of luxury living and 5 star-standard services and benefits not seen before in the city.

“Hadrian’s Tower reflects The High Street Group’s strategy to create sustainable communities where people can buy or rent for the long-term and is a real jewel in the crown of our development portfolio."

3Sixty opens between 10am and 11.30pm (or late depending on demand) Monday and Friday, and between 9am and 12.30am (or late) on Saturday and Sunday.