Dun Cow, Sunderland

High Street West
City Centre
0191 567 2262

The Dun Cow in Sunderland is a city centre pub next to the Empire Theatre and opposite the Minster. It’s imposing building built in 1901 for Deuchars Brewery and has a dramatic corner turret topped with a copper dome with clocks (photo 1).

Inside, in the main bar is what Camra’s Pub Heritage Group calls one of the most stunning bar-backs in Britain (photos 2 & 3). It has four carved wooden semi circular projections which bound three bays with mirrors and art nouveau plaster decorations, including one of a dun cow’s head. The bar counter itself is also original, a solid carved wooden structure which extends the length of the room.

At the end on the left is the smaller smoke room with fixed seating wood panelling and mirrors. Dividing the main bar and the lobby is a screen and an entrance door, both with etched and stained glass panels (photos 4 & 5).

The Dun Cow has a good range of cask beers, mainly from local and Northern breweries like Vaux, Allendale, and North Brewing. Food includes small plates and sharing boards, and there is a monthly quiz and a bi-weekly buskers night.

The pub was owned by Scottish & Newcastle for most of its life and it still displays the brewery’s blue star logo on the outside wall (photo 6).

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