Designed in 1877 the former gentlemen’s club, Union Club was built in the French Renaissance style by architect, M.P. Manning. The Grade II listed building was designed with flamboyant roofscape features and prominent slender chimneys in a unique French chateau style. The gentlemen’s club counted 19th-century industrialist and engineer, Lord Armstrong, among its members.
The Union Club managed to survive the cull on local, Victorian buildings which saw some of Newcastle’s finest architecture torn down in the 1960s. Casualties included Kemsley House and the Norwich Union buildings, right next door.
Union Rooms, Kemsley House, Norwich Union building - June 1953
The Union Club
The Union Club stood empty and derelict for the next 20 years, before being restored with funding assistance from the Grainger Town Project, which was when the JD Weatherspoon chain restored the building and reopened it as The Union Rooms in 1999. The restoration followed the original design, including the grand stone staircase, 15 ft stained glass window, huge glass dome, large rooms with ornate plasterwork, fireplaces, etc.
JD Wetherspoon then sold The Union Rooms in 2017 to a Durham businessman. In February 2018 Cyclone Leisure Group snapped up the iconic building and took over the running of the site.
The huge refurbishment commenced in August 2018, when Cyclone Leisure Group enlisted Dakota House of Design, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, to create a new look for the building. Design and heritage statements were submitted to city planners to seek listed building approval. November 2018 sees the latest chapter of the Union Rooms’ history begin, with Cyclone Leisure Group, which also operate Blackbird Ponteland and San Lorenzo restaurants in Gosforth and Washington, unveiling its new look.
The Union Rooms - One of the city's most historic venues has had a facelift.