With The Social Bar & Cafe, owner Andy Barton is attempting to bring a taste of continental European cuisine to Newcastle.
Inspired by European cafes he’s visited while on holiday, Andy wanted to find a way to bring that same feeling to Newcastle.
“I wanted to do this from spending time there and loving the cafe culture,” Andy said. “They do it so well. They’ve obviously got the better weather for it, but they do it in a very relaxed and informal way that you don’t see here so much.”
It’s evident when you walk into The Social that the atmosphere is meant to make you feel as if you’re on holiday. The wallpaper features a sunny garden. Mosaic tiles that decorate the bar make you feel as if you’re in Spain. Andy has even bought part of a moped that he’s hung on the wall so the cafe will encapsulate more of a chic, European vibe.
Andy commented that the layout of the counter was constructed in a way that would also be open and welcoming to customers.
“The way that we’ve set this up is so I can greet everyone as they come in and I can say bye to everyone as they go. It’s an open counter, so people can see the food being made as well. So it’s more of an experience.”
Some of the food items you’ll see Andy making behind the counter include Italian-style pizza, Belgium waffles, and sandwiches that include Spanish meats and cheeses.
Andy felt so strongly about the open atmosphere he wanted his cafe to embody that he named it The Social because he wanted people to feel welcome to come in, socialize, and “chill out.”
Along with taking more of a traditional European approach in terms of the look of the cafe, Andy also likes to keep his food and coffee choices relatively simple. You’re not likely to find any cutesy latte art in your coffee beverage here.
“If you go to continental Europe, and you buy a cafe con leche or something like that, it might cost you one euro, maybe two, and they’re generally quite small. So we’re also trying to do a traditional authentic style. We can also keep it cheaper that way.”
To find your slice of European holiday within Newcastle, check out The Social Cafe & Bar!