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Is The Central Bar Gateshead the UK’s most dog friendly pub?

The Central Bar in Gateshead has a dog menu, dog beer and even a playroom for four legged visitors

While many pubs claim to be dog friendly, some are best described as dog tolerant, with barely a biscuit or water bowl in sight!

But at The Central Bar in Gateshead on the edge of the Tyne Bridge, dogs are dragging their owners through the doors to try out the Temple of the Derg.

I know, because I’m one of them!

Earlier this year, Patch and I and my boyfriend Tommy called in for a drink and found out about their playroom.

It’s an entire room decked out for dogs, with a ball pool, agility beams, tunnels, toys, a chill out area with blankets and cushions and more tennis balls than you can shake a stick at.

Patch went absolutely crazy when he first went in there and it really is heaven for dogs.

Patch and Cookie at the Central Bar, Gateshead
Patch and Cookie at the Central Bar, Gateshead
Dogs at the Temple of the Derg playroom in Gateshead

The idea came about when landlord Gavin and his partner Marcia were in a pub themselves

The couple have a Romanian rescue dog Cookie, two, who they rescued a year ago from a kill shelter.

Along with barman and pet photographer Paul McGuiness they decided to create the playroom so their dog had somewhere to play and for customers to enjoy too.

Gavin Sinclair, 41, explained: “We were out one day and looked around and saw dogs sitting looking bored under the tables.

“Marcia said, ‘It’s a shame they don’t have a play area for dogs like they do for kids.’ We have spare rooms above the bar and converted one into a dedicated doggy zone.

“We allow a maximum of ten dogs at a time in there. It’s not a creche or daycare service. Owners supervise them and clean up any accidents as they can get a bit excited!”

As well as the playroom, they have a menu with doggy meals, Sunday Lunch and a doggie pale ale.

Next on the agenda is dog parties and the room can be used for training too.

There’s lots of toys for dogs and their humans to play with!

As well as great food and beers, the pub is steeped in history

It was built in 1854 on the edge of the famous Tyne Bridge and was the setting for a scene in the film Women in Love with Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed.

As 29 pubs close every week according to the Campaign for Real Ale, coming up with innovative ideas to get punters through the doors is vital. Research has shown making pubs dog friendly can boost business.

A Kennel Club study found that 82% of pub managers noticed increased levels of social interaction between guests when dogs were allowed in and 79% stated that they thought the atmosphere improved with the help of a hound.

Caroline Cisko, Secretary at the Kennel Club said: “British pubs are an integral part of our society and whilst it is important that the public should support them, it is also essential that pub owners do everything within their power to make their venue the kind of place people will want to visit time and again.”

Paws in the air if you love the Temple of the Derg! © Paul McGuiness
There’s even a chill out zone – much needed for Patch © Paul McGuiness

Marcia says she is over the moon at how well the Temple of the Derg has been received

She says she wants to make the venue as accommodating for pet parents as possible.

Marcia said: “People have been so positive about the playroom. We wanted to offer a little more for our four legged friends.

“It’s so lovely seeing them play and Cookie absolutely loves that he can meet so many different dogs.”

Landlord Gavin Sinclair and partner Marcia Mennie who run the Central Bar © Paul McGuiness
The Central Bar is now Patch’s fave pub! © Paul McGuiness

Our verdict

Like most dog owners I don’t like leaving my terrier Patch behind when I go out, so we’re always sniffing around for new places to take him.

Some pubs are more dog tolerant – they won’t let them sit on the furniture and you’re lucky to get a bowl of water and a biscuit.

We live in Gateshead and when Patch went in the Temple of the Derg he threw himself in the ball pit then spent ages scampering around with the toys.

It’s brilliant to be able to take him here so he can play and tire himself out, particularly when it’s cold, wet and muddy and he might not fancy a walk.

There’s dog friendly but with toys, treats and even another dog, Cookie, for visitors to play with, this really is going the extra mile.

You can find out more about the Central Bar on their Facebook page and on Twitter and Instagram.

Do you know of a super dog friendly pub? We’d love to hear about it, so either pop a comment in the reply box below or message us via the Contact page.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read Dog Friendly things to do in Alnmouth or Dog Friendly things to do in Robin Hood’s Bay.

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