Retro arcade bar set to give vacant Dean Street site new lease of life

A retro arcade bar is set to move into the site of a former Newcastle city centre restaurant.

A retro arcade bar is set to move into the site of a former Newcastle city centre restaurant.

City bosses have approved plans to transform the disused Gershwin’s site in Dean Street into a Four Quarters.

The former eatery, underneath Portofino, has been empty since it closed down in 2011 but is now set for a new lease of life.

Four Quarters has three branches in London and recently opened in Bristol, and promises a “unique” experience to customers as it straddles the line between being a retro videogame arcade and bar.

Its proposed Dean Street site, which has been granted planning permission by Newcastle City Council, promises around 30 vintage arcade favourites alongside “quality” local craft beers and cocktails.

The venue would also serve food and plans to host gaming competitions, quiz nights, and cult movie screenings.

The company’s planning application stated: “Newcastle is our primary target location for expansion out of London. Our Managing Director is from the area and the arcades of the Spanish City in the 80s and 90s were inspirational in the creation of our brand.

“Dean Street would seem the perfect location for a destination bar, being very central, yet away from the large scale, youth and stag party targeted venues. We feel our offering is in line with other operators in close proximity.

“This particular basement space would seem to have few viable uses other than late night hospitality and we believe that Four Quarters will broaden the appeal of the night time offering in the area, whilst working to help achieve council and licensing targets and creating 10-plus new jobs.”

The application lodged with the local authority says the arcade would open from 3pm to 2am during the week, and from midday to 2am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The empty Gershwin’s was given a major makeover in 2019 in a bid to attract new occupiers, after years of the ground floor and basement venue laying vacant.

A council planning officer’s report into the Four Quarters plan said that converting the former restaurant into a drinking establishment was “considered acceptable” and that existing noise nuisance caused by surrounding venues is not “harmful enough” to warrant refusing to allow a new site to open.