Sir John Fitzgerald bars and restaurants have been a fixture in the North East for nearly 100 years,
with our distinguished heritage stretching back to the days of Queen Victoria.

It all began in Ireland

John Fitzgerald was born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1857. After completing an apprenticeship in the wine and spirit trade, he moved to Newcastle in 1878 and started his own business. In 1896, he branched out and bought his first licensed premises, becoming a pioneer of the long bar system which would revolutionise social drinking in England.

By 1900 John Fitzgerald owned bars across the North East and also began manufacturing aerated water and bottling ales in a plant adjoining his headquarters in Pilgrim Street.

John Fitzgerald rose to become a prominent figure in the city; elected to the Board of Guardians in 1888, the City Council in 1891 and becoming Sheriff in 1906 and Alderman in 1910. He served as Lord Mayor for Newcastle from 1914-1915, and was knighted in the New Year Honours of 1920 for his services to the city.

Generations of Excellence

Sir John Fitzgerald’s descendants still run the company today, and family ties have been core to the continued success of the company. Following in our founder’s footsteps, we believe our continued success is due to our commitment to provide a great service to the North East Our long history means we’re lucky to run some of the most famous pubs in the region, such as the Crown Posada and the Bridge Hotel.

The world of pubs and bars has changed dramatically over the years. The innovation of the current generation has ensured that whilst continually upholding our heritage, Sir John Fitzgerald has broadened the business into the world of food, remaining synonymous with quality, both for drinks and food.

Plans for the Future

We never stand still at Sir John Fitzgerald and are always looking for ways to offer our customers something new. Although we run some of the most historic pubs in the region, we’re no stranger to developing new North East landmarks. In the last 10 years we have built The Pavilion at Backworth, a bespoke, spacious food pub, as well as a major refurbishment of The Briar Dene in Whitley Bay.

The vision and spirit of Sir John Fitzgerald continues today. We have built strong relationships with many local suppliers who have been instrumental in contributing to the quality you will experience in our establishments, and addressing the ever increasing demand for high standards in our industry. More than ever, our plans for the future remain focused on providing first class venues and hospitality.