Gateshead recording studio reveals plans for concert hall and alfresco dining



A concert hall with an open-air restaurant could happen in Gateshead if plans for a music studio are approved.

Phil Davies, owner of Downcast Studios, has submitted a license application to Gateshead Council requesting permission to supply alcohol, for consumption on and off the premises, daily between 11am and 11pm.

He wants to serve food and drink in a 40ft container he has set up outside his Park Lane studio.

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Mr. Davies also wants to use a mini stage in the backyard for small gigs, such as DJs or acoustic sets.

He asked for permission to host films, plays, dance and music live or recorded outdoors every day between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Recorded music will be played daily, major events such as live performances will only take place on weekends.

Mr Davies, who has run the music studio for 13 years, said the restaurant called Banditos at Downcast has been a long-standing ambition for him.

He said: “Since we closed for the first lockdown, I knew this was the perfect time to roll out plans for the new side of the business.

“I wanted to make spicy food – Mexican and American with vegan options.

“We’ll be serving burgers and chili dogs, triple cheese nachos and burritos, Philadelphia cheese steaks, dirty fries and Nashville chicken club sandwiches.

“For the past 20 years, I had it in my head that I was going to open a spicy restaurant with an American-style dining vibe with girls and boys on wheels as servers.

“Around 2001, I considered buying a gas station to convert it into a restaurant, but that never happened. I’ve always wanted a spicy touch on the menu. I live on spices, I have it for breakfast, lunch and tea.

Mr Davies said he hoped to host a wide variety of musical talent, with concerts held several times a month, featuring young and established local bands.

He added: “The Banditos Outdoor Restaurant will serve from a 40ft container that has an open kitchen on one side and is also the Downcast Studios reception and bar on the other.

Phil Davies of Downcast Studios in expanding Gateshead, to have outdoor music and food served from a shipping container

“The whole site could accommodate around 300 people, but I’m looking for a rather relaxed atmosphere.

“It’s not about numbers, it’s more about food, local beers with all genres of music played daily and most importantly outdoors with Covid measurements all over the site including PPE if needed .

“I’ll try to mix it up a bit. We were going to do a drum’n’bass night in August but I had to cancel that to allow time for the candidacy to pass.

“I will organize hip-hop and reggae, hard rock or house evenings. It’s global, there is something for everyone.

The council’s licensing department has yet to rule on the proposals.



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