When it was first announced that Sunderland was going to be getting a STACK, which was already such well an established venue in Newcastle, I was very apprehensive. Sunderland can be a strange place when it comes to investment and progress as there will always be people who complain about it (and complain they did!)
I know a lot of people were annoyed that the location chosen for it was our seafront, and not the city centre. The big argument was that the STACK would take business from these city-centre pubs and restaurants. Or that it would be too cold in the winter and would not survive the winter and stay open for very long.
Track and Trace
I have been a few times now, and every time, track and trace are required before even entering the venue. They have 3 ways of doing depending on the guest’s tech, so even if they don’t have mobile phones to scan QR codes (For the NHS app or the businesses personal track and trace code), they have to write their details down. This applies to every individual too, not per party. This really sets the tone of the lengths the venue has gone to, to make its guests feel safe! And the results show as so far there have been no reported cases of covid being spread or anyone having to isolate after visiting the venue.
With the more recent government guidance (in case you’ve missed it!) all bars and restaurants in our tier must provide table service to limit people walking around venues and businesses and touching things. So the STACK has an app that guests can download to order their food and drinks which you then go and collect. Of course, this means paying over the app, and I find I spend more money that way! Alternatively, you can just go over and order from the kiosks now.
Every table has QR codes for the bar and then all of the food outlets. You simply use the app to scan the code and order whatever you’d like. But if you’re not very techy, you can order with one of the members of staff walking around.
The only issue with this is that the drinks were a little slow. But given the limits on staff numbers etc, it’s something to be expected. But if you are the kind of person to drink very quickly (without going overboard of course), then maybe order two rounds to start with and then go from there?
I can’t believe how far into this post I have gotten before talking about the STAR of the show! The food options in the STACK are amazing. I am slowly working my way around each vendor. So far, it’s a steady tie as both Acropolis and Holy Duck are incredible!
I love venues like this where you have a multitude of options from very different cuisines. It caters to everyone’s needs. So a full list of vendors is as follows:
- Holy Duck
- Boogie Burger
- Downey’s Fish and Chips
- Chapo’s Tacos
- Farah’s Italiano
- Bao Down
- Big Fat Indian Kitchen
- Healthy Thaim
- Zza Pizzeria
- YOLO Coffee
- The Little Cakery
- So Smoothie
- Posh Street Food
Small groups can’t book right now but larger ones can. So, if you can, I really would recommend booking! They take a £10 deposit per person which you get back in the form of drinks vouchers.
If anyone has already been, I’d love to hear about your experience. Have you tried one of these vendors, and if so which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!