Situated, some might say snuggly, just underneath a railway bridge, The Central Bar Gateshead, helmed by the guys and gals at the burgeoning Head Of Steam, is a sight for sore eyes. Just a quick walk from the Sage and the Quayside, and repurposing the abandoned building that it is situated in, Central Bar could be your new home from home; if you don’t mind washing in a sink and never having a bed.
The Central Bar takes up three floors; function rooms at the top, as well as a terrace for when the weather isn’t totally shit. The homely and back to basics set up has enough additional tricks and treats that you’d find in more established, ‘fakey’ bars like wooden clipboards with menus on, flavoured mayonnaises and free copies of Vice to digest, which keep the business up to date, vibrant and interesting. The food itself, basic standards of any restaurant (burgers, vegetarian selections, nibbles and Sunday lunches) are pushed to the extremes of what people might order. Of course there’s the inclusion of the standard salted beef burger, but there’s more than that. There are flavours from around the globe to help make your life that little bit harder.
2013 was a massive year for Justin Timberlake. Not only did he return to our ears with some very questionable pop music, but he was also voted GQ’s Most Stylish Man of 2013. Which is a massive shame really, because yet again a perfectly respectable role model has had his natural good looks rewarded again. It’s a shame when these things happen, because every weird looking dude wants to look brilliant and impress that special someone; especially in these days of longer hours and the risk of redundancies hanging over our heads like tinsel that you’ve forgotten to take down. And whats the easiest way to dress to impress? By imitating someone else’s style of course! Unfortunately there aren’t a multitude of achievable male style icons milling around to pick from: Davids Gandy and Beckham always seem to lead the way in polls about Best Dressed Men, followed shortly by Robert Downey Junior and people like Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. Which is fine, y’know? These men are undoubtedly good looking (except for Cumberbatch who looks like Dr. Moreau mixed a deer with the very idea of having a stiff upper lip). But one things links all these people together. No, not having the best stylists available to them so they can polish a turd, but they’re almost always seen in suits and slightly more formal casual attire. Except for David Beckham who’s totally brilliant shots for H&M really gave meaning to when the Spice Girls (and Victoria mimed) ‘too much of something is bad enough’, mainly because dat ass.
Let me ask you a question: have you ever seen dark times and faced uncertain odds while shopping? I have. My lowest day was circling the reduced rails of Primark looking for something to wear for New Year’s Eve after flat out refusing to pay £15 for a shirt. I wasn’t skint so I knew I could afford something much better, and I don’t know whether it was because it didn’t look like it cost £15 to make, or because it probably wasn’t ethically sourced, but I couldn’t do it. Maybe it was because deep down in my roots I’m a coop of pigeons away from settling on Coronation Street as the ruffian neighbour who has an eye for the ladies, and the men. But whatever it was, it resulted in my rifling through the reduced rails and eyeing up a shirt with a repetitive labrador print. Obviously everyone has their own styles and approach to fashion, but what happens when you get lost on the path of excellence and drift into a world of labrador prints and drop crotch chinos? You need a kick up the bum, is what you need. Which is what the following words will be; a huge kick up the bum for me, because I’ve been to that sorry place and I know that I need help. I’ve faced dark times and I know the fear, but up until now, I haven’t known what to do about it.