By Clara Gaspar
Whitechurch, a new Durham restaurant, opened its doors to customers for lunches and dinners on Tuesday.
The new restaurant-café hybrid on Church Street Head has been open for drinks and cold food since early October but has launched brand new menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner for its 36-seat restaurant.
Whitechurch has been opened by Patrick Clark and Peter Anglesea, the founders of the existing Flat White cafés in the centre of Durham City.
The new business consists of a restaurant on one side of the building, with a coffee shop and outdoor seating area on the other.
Flat White Kitchen announced it was taking over the lease of the New Inn pub earlier this year.
Both Clark and Anglesea are working full-time in Whitechurch as the new business gets up and running.
“It’s already been so busy for lunches,” Peter Anglesea told Palatinate.
“Everyone loves the design. It’s so nice for us to have the pub aspect of the place because we’re used to running cafés, so this is really exciting.”
The restaurant employs around 30 staff, 10 of whom have full-time contracts and are a mixture of residents and students.
Whitechurch’s head chef, Pete Barker, has previously acted at the existing Flat White cafés and has designed new breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for the new restaurant.
The restaurant will be serving breakfast from 9am to 11.30am, with lunch running from 12-3pm. Customers can then sit down for dinner at 6.
Anglesea told Palatinate, “Our bestseller has been our ales. We have Wylam Brewery beers on tap, and they’re based in Newcastle. Our bottle and can bar features loads of UK brewers, and it’s great that we can support local businesses.”
McColl’s, a brewery in Bishop Auckland, is one of several local beer brands served at the bar.
Other locally-sourced produce includes Durham honey, which will be served on the breakfast menu.
The new lunch menu features bruschetta, a rarebit and risotto, while pork and pistachio terrine and steak will appear on the evening menu which offers starters and mains as well as dessert. Customers must make reservations for lunch and dinner.
Anna Gibbs, a third-year Classics student at Durham University told Palatinate, “Whitechurch is dangerously (for my bank account) close to the Billy Bryson, especially when the library cafe is being refurbished.
“It’s a similar aesthetic to the Flat White Bailey branch but all on one floor. It’s got that light atmosphere and the burning fire makes it just as cosy. I almost wish I was living on the hill again this year because the bar addition would have been well used!”
Durham County Council bosses said the refurbishment would “breathe life” into the building.
Durham County Council bosses said the refurbishment would “breathe life” into the building. “In the recent past the public house has traded poorly and the offers has not met the commercial potential of the site location.
“The addition of the New Inn public house to their portfolio of properties allows Flat White to expand their café format to all day drinking/eating with an evening offer increasing the range of goods, services and attractions available.”
Photographs: Clara Gaspar