Tucked away underground, accessed via a spiral staircase, is Newcastle's best kept secret. Upon entering you may think it looks suspiciously like you’re walking down to a public toilet, and the truth is you’re not that far off the money. Originally built in the 1800s as a ‘water closet’, the location served as a public restroom until the early noughties, and then spent some time abandoned before being repurposed into the cocktail bar it is today. Far from its grubbier beginnings, WC is a speakeasy that sits below the hustle and bustle of Bigg Market, offering a cosy spot to whet your whistle after exploring what the city has to offer.
Natural light floods the room through the conservatory style roof by day, with a slightly darker and moodier atmosphere by night. A golden hue is projected across the room from the large chandelier that hangs from the centre of the roof, as glass lanterns adorn the metal structure.
The WC menu invites you to remember Newcastle through the ages, complete with illustrations of men in top hats and women glammed up for a party in the 1920s. Set out like a dated newspaper, you’re taken on a tour of faux news articles of Newcastle's history, from when the building was first built in 1898, through to a section on Alan Shearer who has earnt a legacy in the area through his footballing triumphs in the 1990s.
The menu is divided between different alcohols, as well as a ‘luxury serves’ section for more premium cocktails. Expect classics like a French75, or some with a contemporary twist like a smoked cherry Manhattan which is infused with smoke vapour before a maraschino cherry is dropped in.
For a take on a Sunday brunch, WC also offers a Tipsy Tea Party where you can indulge in bottomless drinks and three tiers of cakes and snacks.