Lorelei to become Buddha Lounge following acquisition


One of Tyneside’s most talked about leisure venues is being transformed into a high-end Asian fusion restaurant after being bought by two North East hospitality entrepreneurs.

Lorelei in Tynemouth, which has established a reputation as being one of the ‘go to’ bars and restaurants in the region, has been bought by Paul Johnstone and Carlo Giacomini, who have renamed the venue Buddha Lounge and are transforming it into an Asian-style restaurant. It is set to open in late July.

Paul and Carlo are both well known on the Tyneside leisure scene Paul owns an array of property, including the Royal Hotel, Noir and Michelino’s in Whitley Bay, and Carlo, alongside his brother Fabio, has the Davanti restaurant chain and Ora bar in Tynemouth.

Since buying the Royal Hotel three years ago, Paul and his wife Julie have invested significantly in acquiring and transforming their leisure venues, making them into high quality locations with an emphasis on food. Their plans for the revamp of Lorelei echo what the couple have done elsewhere in their portfolio.

Significant further investment is being made into Buddha Lounge to revamp the design of the interior, and a unique Buddha statue was commissioned for the venue which was designed and crafted by some of the UK’s leading sculptors.

Paul, who previously founded the Newcastle based Easilet letting agency, said: “Lorelei is a beautiful venue which has become incredibly popular as a bar and restaurant alike, and we have big plans for it. Buddha Lounge will be a fantastic venue, and its food will be second to none.

“We will be refreshing the whole interior, as well as changing the overall brand and theme, but the main difference will be the food, which will be very high-quality Asian fusion cuisine. There is nothing like it at the coast and it is a great project to be involved in.

“Julie and I have built up a reputation for taking over venues which then go from strength to strength under our management. Together with Carlo, who himself operates a portfolio of very successful locations, we are pleased to become the new owners of this real gem of a place and are excited about the potential of Buddha Lounge.”

The acquisition of Lorelei was handled by the specialist leisure team at Newcastle law firm Sintons, with the real estate and commercial work handled by Partners Alok Loomba and Adrian Dye respectively.

Alok Loomba said: “Paul and Carlo are very well-regarded entrepreneurs in the leisure and hospitality sector, and both own a number of successful venues in their own right. The acquisition of Lorelei is a very significant transaction for the Tyneside leisure scene, and its impending transformation into Buddha Lounge is hugely exciting for Tynemouth and the coast.”

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