A ONCE-popular bar and restaurant has permanently closed its doors in the Metrocentre after several years in operation.

The Coast to Coast American Restaurant & Bar in the Yellow Mall of the Gateshead shopping centre was seen permanently shuttered.

In a notice to customers, a poster advising customers of its permanent closure thanked them for their custom over the past five years.

Owned by The Restaurant Group, which also owns Frankie and Benny's and Wagamama, the venue was well known for its mix of dishes and deals.

The Northern Echo:

It is unclear as to why the restaurant has closed, but last year its owner The Restaurant Group warned a "large number" of sites were unlikely to reopen.

At the time, it reportedly told employees of its Frankie and Benny's division that many of its sites are "no longer viable to trade."

The group had been forced to close a large number of its Chiquito Mexican-style outlets after that arm of the company fell into administration.

The loss of the Metrocentre restaurant comes as the shopping centre has lost a number of retailers since the pandemic began.

Debenhams, Carphone Warehouse, Cath Kidston, Topman and Topshop are just some of the names that did not reopen their units when restrictions were lifted.

However, Metrocentre bosses remained confident in the "opportunity" to bring in new brands to the shopping centre. 

A Metrocentre spokesperson said: “Coast to Coast has come to the end of its lease at Metrocentre. 

"The normal lease expiry cycle gives us an opportunity to bring in new brands to the centre so that we can keep it fresh and exciting for our customers.

“There’s a lot going on at Metrocentre and we are currently in advanced negotiations with a number of exciting new brands who are set to take their first stores within the region, whilst others are looking at their existing stores to make sure they are making the best of their presence in the centre. 

"Since the relaxation of lockdown in April six stores have opened at the centre including national brands like Sky and independent retailers like Zucchini Pasta Bar, Selfie and Bubble Ci-Tea.

“Metrocentre is the premier destination for shopping and leisure in the North East and as such we want to make sure that we keep bringing the very best retailers to the centre.  With our exciting plans for Metrocentre we intend to do just that.”

The Northern Echo contacted The Restaurant Group for comment but did not receive a response at time of publication.