Remember our original guide that caused quite the stir back in 2021?
Well, we’ve listened to your suggestions, went for a nosey around even more city businesses and we’re back with another chapter of seriously impressive places in Sunderland…
From beautiful Edwardian establishments, contemporary open spaces and communal halls, here are 9 MORE Sunderland businesses with amazing interiors!


9 more Sunderland businesses with amazing interiors!


Sunderland Empire



There’s no doubting it, Sunderland Empire is one of Sunderland’s greatest assets. 

An institution ingrained in the very fabric of the city, the Empire is a splendid example of Edwardian architecture. 

Having opened in 1907 with an exclusive performance from star of the stage, Vesta Tilly, Sunderland Empire has been capturing audiences’ imaginations thanks to its delicate Art Nouveau-style wood furnishings, Baroque features and smattering of gold finishes. 

Outside, Sunderland Empire features a 90ft round tower crowned with a dome and a revolving sphere which bore the statue of Terpsichore; the Greek Goddess of dance. 

A wonderful venue that has gifted Sunderland with so many precious memories over the years, the Empire recently celebrated 114 years in the city with a series of stunning Ghostlight Sessions.  


The Ivy House



Traditional pub design meets contemporary craft pub vibes at The Ivy House.

A true icon for craft connoisseurs, match-day goers and late-night dwellers, this famous watering hole at Worcester Terrace isn’t just your run of the mill pub. 

Venture inside and you’ll find cosy low-level lighting, a curvaceous bar counter and opulent leather seating that adds a touch of decadence to a super laidback atmosphere.  

It’s an uber-chilled establishment where punters can enjoy an eclectic mix of craft beers, sample a diverse range of spirits and devour hand-made pizzas that are freshly prepared on-site. 


Stack Seaburn



We know, we’re bending our own rules with this one, but the incredible design and sheer uniqueness of Stack Seaburn means that this beloved hospitality icon makes it onto our 9 Sunderland businesses with amazing interiors. 

Created from a myriad of shipping containers and finished in vibrant turquoise blue, Stack Seaburn boasts a wide range of street food offerings, lifestyle businesses and entertainment brands that face each other in a communal, hall-like courtyard.

A stone’s throw away from the seaside, Stack Seaburn’s sweeping glass facades and open-air entrances attract the sense of a serene coastal retreat nestled inside a vibrant hub of thriving independents. 

The perfect place for a delicious bite to eat, a catch up with friends or a big night out in the city 


The Fire Station


Photography: David Allen


Sunderland’s £18m game-changing cultural hub has already left a lasting impression since opening its door back in 2021. 

The Fire Station stands out from the crowd thanks to its retro signage, a mixture of dark furniture, decadent tiling and tactile upholstery with nods back to the original Fire Station’s original design features, which include vintage ceiling beams and sliding doors.

Capable of hosting world-class artists, this brand spanking new venue incorporates an auditorium, bars, a restaurant, dance and creative writing studios and the Parade Ground, a 600-capacity outdoor performance space with an external stage and bar.


Seventeen Nineteen



One of Sunderland’s oldest buildings has undergone a stunning £4.3m regeneration project in recent months, as work on Seventeen Nineteen revealed a sensitive transformation for Sunderland’s 18th-century place of worship. 

Holy Trinity Church or Seventeen Nineteen, as it’s now known, is an Anglican church in the East End of the city.

A beautiful building, it was opened in 1719 as the church for the newly created Parish of Sunderland and served the local community until dwindling numbers forced its closure in 1988. 

The interior is brightly lit through large clear windows and has many appealing features; the striking baroque chancel arch; an elegant font with a richly ornamented cover; west end stalls for constables, overseers and sidesmen, as well as the memorial to the Revd Robert Gray (1838).

Both the stained glass window and font have been sympathetically restored and re-instated by professionals, whereas finishing touches around the building have also been completed. 

A major element to correct at Seventeen Nineteen was the damp structures that consistently allowed the elements to penetrate the building. In a major effort to rectify this, widespread changes have been made to combat this.


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National Glass Centre



Another jewel in Sunderland’s burgeoning cultural scene, the National Glass Centre is a wonderful example of a sweeping, open-air design that connects a building’s main features through the removal of walls and objects. 

The National Glass Centre underwent a major restoration project in 2012. 

A £2.3 million investment by Sunderland University, the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled The National Glass centre to deliver a top-class visitor experience, provide improved art studios for students and become an inspiring space for people to live, work and relax in.  

Built on the site of a former shipyard J.L.Thompson and Sons, this wonderful venue provides beautiful vistas of the River Wear in a bright, contemporary setting and features textured walls, reflective countertops and marbled floor to maximise light. 


The Peacock


Photography: Simon Woodley


With a packed music schedule and wonderful Edwardian style, The Peacock on High Street West stands out among Sunderland’s watering holes. 

A beloved spot that dates back to 1901-02, The Peacock, similar to Sunderland Empire and The Dun Cow, are outstanding examples of baroque architecture and unbridled interior expressionism. 

The beautifully restored interior is a fine example of traditional-pub décor – all patterned ceilings, stained-glass doors and old fixed seats as well as an ornate wood bar. 

A stone’s throw away from the Bridges, Sunderland City Hall, The Dun Cow and The Fire Station, The Peacock has transformed its offering to become a brilliant independent venue for budding Mackem talent and bands from further afield.


Sunderland City Hall


Photography: RJX Media


What an addition Sunderland City Hall has been.

A huge £42m project that only just opened its door in November 2021, Sunderland City Hall is an ultra-modern 21st Century building that features a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities and contemporary finishes under one roof. 

Nestled in the heart of Riverside Sunderland’s masterplan, Sunderland City Hall features a striking glass facade, subtle use of pastel hues that hark back to the city’s shipbuilding and industrial heritage, plus breathtaking 360° panoramic views across Sunderland. 

The former Civic Centre is currently being vacated, paving the way for its demolition and the creation of a new residential community on the edge of the city centre. 

Sunderland City Hall was constructed by Sunderland firm Bowmer + Kirkland, ploughing millions of pounds into the local economy, and is part of a £100m investment by Legal & General, which will also see two new commercial buildings developed on the site over due course. 


Pop Recs 2


Photography: Isaac Johnson


Without a shadow of a doubt, Pop Recs is a grand design.  

Following a meticulous restoration process by Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust, Michael McKnight, Jo Gordon – training and development manager at Pop Recs – and Dan Shannon – the genius behind Midnight Pizza Crü, have teamed up to breathe a new lease of life into this historic building with Pop Recs 2. 

What was once a derelict shell on the brink of collapse, the space has been entirely transformed into an open, airy space that features subtle nods to the building’s past tenants. 

A commanding stage sits at the rear, overlooking a communal hall with multi-functional seating and table arrangements. 

The handmade bar counter, sound booth, café servery, tables and chairs have all been reclaimed and given a new lease of life from designer, Tony Guerilla.

Remnants of 19th-century wallpaper are littered across the brick walls that have been completely rebuilt, there’s a state-of-the-art sound system floating above and the show-stopping atrium is truly stunning. 

Their delightful café also features a stylish interior coupled with a warm and enticing atmosphere. 


Who would you add to our list of Sunderland businesses with amazing interiors? 

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