Review: We Check Out the New Café Mercy Cocktail Bar on Newcastle's Grey Street
A new cocktail bar has opened on Newcastle's iconic Grey Street
From the people who brought us the award-winning Mother Mercy bar (named one of the UK’s top 50 cocktail bars last year), Café Mercy is their fifth venue to open in the North East. Since opening their Cloth Market speakeasy, Mother Mercy have opened further venues in Fenwick and two locations at By the River Brew Co, with their cocktail container and their sunset terrace. Now their latest cocktail bar, Café Mercy, has opened on Grey Street.
After a busy day at LN HQ we head over to the new bar for a few after-work drinks. The city already has a growing buzz as people leave their offices on a warm Thursday evening and it’s clear as soon as we enter the bar that this is the place to be.
For the warmer months there are wooden chairs outside overlooking Grey Street, whilst inside the former Decantus bar has been transformed into a modern, mediterranean-inspired space. In keeping with their pink and orange branding theme, the cocktail bar is furnished with rattan furniture, pampas grass decor and white marble tables. The bar trails along one side, whilst high tables and booths fill the rest of the venue.
We start our evening with cocktails we have already seen on social media. A Marshmallow Fizz is a Hepple Sloe and Hawthorn gin base, topped with rhubarb, rose lemonade and a toasted marshmallow. It’s sweet and full of rhubarb flavours. My friend goes for the Hot Honey Margarita, a shorter cocktail with a Ocho tequila base, mixed with honey, peach, yellow pepper, fresh lime and chilli spice.
Both cocktails are full of fun (her margarita comes with its own honey dipper whilst my marshmallow is held in place by a flamingo cocktail stick). As we sip on our first drinks the bar starts to fill quickly with a mix of post-work colleagues, couples and friends catching up before the coming weekend.
We move on to a cocktail from the Café Cocktails section of the menu, where each drink is inspired by European café culture. Although there are a range of house fizzy spritzes (we’ve heard the Aperol Spritz is especially good here) we order the Mandarin Scroppino and the East 8 Hold Up. We decide to make both of these mocktails, and unlike other bars, they’re made the same way but with a non-alcoholic spirit. The Mandarin Scroppino is refreshing and sweet – something you’d have in summer or on a warm September day. The East 8 Hold Up is also fruity, with a strong pineapple flavour, a hint of fresh lime and passionfruit.
We finish our drinks and leave as another group head in to replace us at the table. It’s clear Café Mercy is already thriving and the fun and creative cocktails, along with summery Mediterranean-inspired interiors, clearly make this a must-visit destination.