THE man behind a popular café in Darlington’s indoor market has launched a new venture inside a bowls club.

Alex Blackham, who has been cooking and preparing food at Darlington’s Diner inside the town’s Victorian Market for more than 17 years, has opened a new café inside Darlington’s Indoor Bowls Club.

The new café, named Café on the Green, replaces the old facility which closed around two years ago.

Darlington Indoor Bowls Club, which is located on North Road, opened in 1980 on the site of the original North Road Locomotive Works

Mr Blackham said: “It has always been a priority of mine to support local sites such as the Indoor Bowling Club as they have been a prestigious venue for more than 30 years.

“I am passionate about supporting local businesses like myself and that is why I only source my produce from regional businesses."

Club members will now have the additional service of the 50 seat capacity café, as well as the fully licensed bar that is already on site.

The café is expected to be popular with members in cooler months, as outdoor bowls in other venues such as South Park is no longer a possibility.

Mr Blackham said he was looking to serve traditional Sunday dinners in the café in the future.

“We look forward to welcoming anyone who wants the chance to try their hand at bowls or fancies a unique dining experience of being able to watch a game of traditional indoor bowls whilst you dine," he added.

The café will open to club members and the public from 10am daily.

For further information about the new café or if you wish to book a table, call 07791 096039.

To find out more about the club, visit