Hartlepool Tall Ships Races: Bars and restaurants looking forward to boost with 'bookings up everywhere'

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Bars and restaurants are looking forward to a bumper few days as the Tall Ships Races sails into town.

Hotel and restaurant bookings are said to be up as thousands of spectators are set to visit Hartlepool over the next four days.

The hospitality sector is looking forward to a welcome boost after a hard winter with the cost of living crisis.

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Darab Rezai, chairman of Hartlepool Licensees Association, said the event is a great opportunity for the whole town.

Darab Rezai, the new owner of Santonio Bar, on Navigation Point, with a delightful looking sea bass. Picture by FRANK REIDDarab Rezai, the new owner of Santonio Bar, on Navigation Point, with a delightful looking sea bass. Picture by FRANK REID
Darab Rezai, the new owner of Santonio Bar, on Navigation Point, with a delightful looking sea bass. Picture by FRANK REID

He said: “The Tall Ships is excellent for everybody. For the town, the traders and for the people who come in.

“Everybody’s bookings are up.

"We’re hoping that we leave a lasting impression on people of Hartlepool that we are very hospitable and welcoming to tourists.

"Hopefully they will enjoy the marina scenery and go back and tell other people and revisit.”

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John-Paul Maynard from JP's Bar at Navigation Bar ready for the Tall Ships. Picture by FRANK REIDJohn-Paul Maynard from JP's Bar at Navigation Bar ready for the Tall Ships. Picture by FRANK REID
John-Paul Maynard from JP's Bar at Navigation Bar ready for the Tall Ships. Picture by FRANK REID

A number of bars and restaurants are taking on extra staff to cope with the crowds.

Mr Rezai, who is the new owner of Santonio Bar, on Navigation Point, said businesses have worked with Hartlepool Borough Council to be ready for the event.

He added: “It’s not all about taking money. It’s about giving hope and prosperity to everybody, especially all the young people working in the hospitality industry.”

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Craig Davey from Vibes hopes to clean up during the Tall Ships Races. Picture by FRANK REIDCraig Davey from Vibes hopes to clean up during the Tall Ships Races. Picture by FRANK REID
Craig Davey from Vibes hopes to clean up during the Tall Ships Races. Picture by FRANK REID

Bars and restaurants along Navigation Point are particularly looking forward to the event.

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JP’s Bar has drafted in family and friends to help out with the expected rush.

Owner John-Paul Maynard said: “We’re fully stocked up and looking forward to it.

"There’s people coming to the town that wouldn’t normally be here and it’s something for people of the town to enjoy.”

The area started getting busy with people from Wednesday with the arrival of the first ships.

Family-run licensed cafe Bianco’s is also feeling positive.

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Andrew Bianco, from the 20-year Hartlepool business, said: “We were here for the previous one 13 years ago and it was really good.

"This one looks like it could potentially be even better due to the fact there is a stage in the car park and no vendors on this part of the site.”

Bianco’s will be putting on an outdoor bar to capitalise on the increased footfall during the event.