The owner of a leading restaurant in Newcastle is captaining a new venture in the seaside town of Whitley Bay in North Tyneside, to champion a wealth of Geordie-influenced British classics.
Andy Hook, who owns the multi-award winning Blackfriars Restaurant – a 13th century former medieval friary in Newcastle upon Tyne believed to be the oldest purpose built restaurant in the UK – has opened Hinnies, offering rustic, hearty comfort food.
The neighbourhood eatery is named after the old North East favourite, Singin’ Hinnies, a traditional fried fruit scone or griddle cake, so called because they ‘sing’ whilst cooking. The word hinny is also used as a term of endearment in Geordie dialect.
The interior of Hinnies was designed by Newcastle-based designer Neil Wilson, who said: “The brief was to make the restaurant a warm, relaxed and inviting place to eat, so we thought it would be interesting to combine a coastal colour scheme with warm natural wood tones and features, but then add a range of vintage furniture, fittings and accessories to give Hinnies character and a sense of cosy nostalgia to go with the comfort food.
“Much of what you see inside the restaurant is recycled, including the chairs, tables, bric-a-brac, booths, front bar, back bar, floor, light fittings, cutlery, kitchen and kitchen equipment.”
Andy’s return to the coast comes at a time when North Tyneside Council is embarking on an extensive re-development plan for the coastline, which is set to bring more than £36 million of new investment to the area.
“The North East region boasts one of the most spectacular coastlines in the UK, and this is a particularly exciting time to be opening a new venture in Whitley Bay,” says Andy. “Hinnies is located in a prime position on the stunning seafront and we’re very well placed to be one of the first businesses to benefit from the re-invigoration of the area.
“We’re marketing Hinnies as being a relaxed, informal, warm and friendly neighbourhood restaurant serving comfort food we all like to eat – earthy, rustic and hearty dishes made properly from scratch, using local and seasonal produce to give a real taste of our beloved North East. We’ll be showcasing Blackfriars best-selling dishes from the last ten years but with more of a Geordie twist.”