It’s been another strange year.
Coming into 2021 with the third national lockdown and a whirlwind of different restrictions since, many may not have had the confidence to head out in the town centre like they previously would have done.
But while a lot of big name brands and companies have struggled, there’s been a flourishing of new independent cafes, restaurants and businesses opening in Darlington.
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Whether it’s bespoke jewellery and independently sourced fashion brands, or new places to pick up a cuppa on the go or sit down and enjoy a delicious meal with friends – we take a look at the new places to be in the town.
Here are 21 cafes, shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues which have opened in 2021:
The Northgate eatery, offers contemporary Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine to eat in or take away, has been met with rave reviews since it opened to the public in November.
The Gladstone Street restaurant opened to the public in the summer and offers authentic Asian cuisine and Instagram worth cocktails and decor.
Saltfish @ Houndgate Townhouse
Dishes that can be found on the menu at the Houdgate restaurant, which opened its doors in October, include Lobster Bisque, Crispy Cod Cheeks, Beer Battered Haddock and Charcoal Grilled Pork Chop, to name a few.
Amari Indian Fusion and Cocktail Bar
Just a week before Christmas, this new Duke Street joint welcomed its first customers. Offering a seasonal menu which brings modern Western dishes with eccentric Eastern flavours.
Chips and Chicks
The Tubwell Row takeaway specialises in a variety of tasty fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, wings, burgers, tacos, burritos and of course chips. The takeaway opened back in May but is understood to be closed currently due to staffing issues.
One of the newest additions in Darlington, opening in December, Grange Road cafe and bar offers quality beers, wines, spirits, cocktails and, of course, coffee.
The little sister of Hatch Luncheonette and Hash Bar and Kitchen opened in Blackwellgate opened a few weeks ago and offers take out hot drinks, hot and cold sandwiches, plants, plant care and gifts.
The Skinnergate nightclub was finally able to reopen in July after former venue The Institute was taken over by the new owners just before the first lockdown.
The Blind Pig Barbers and Bar
The Grange Road business opened its doors in Darlington back in April and offers a bespoke barbering service alongside an old school speakeasy bar.
Betty’s Boudoir Boutique
The Blackwellgate women’s boutique follows in the footsteps of the popular Sedgefield shop and offers a variety of independent women’s clothing, accessories and gifts.
Little Quacker Distillery
The Darlington-based distillery opened its first shop in Clark’s Yard back in April offering a variety of award-winning gins as well as rums, beers and cocktail making kits.
The family run business in Post House Wynd offers bespoke furniture, art and home decor as well as workshops and tutorials. The shop first opened back in August.
The Northgate women’s clothing shop opened in November and offers a independent collection of outfits – from winter coats and boots to stunning party dresses.
The Cornmill Shopping Centre store opened back in July and showcases a variety of items from independent brands – many of which are local to the North East.
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Darlington Indoor Market
There’s been a variety of new businesses opening up inside the market this year. With the street food court opening in July plus businesses like Hexy’s Clothes and Sheena’s Scent Shack.
Top of the Hops
The Preistgate bottle shop opened back in July and offers a variety of IPA’s and craft beers.
The vintage Bondgate shop welcomed its first customers back in September and offers vintage homeware, clothing, accessories and curiosities.
The quirky arts and crafts shop in Post House Wynd opened back in August and meets all your crafty needs – as well as offering homemade gifts, candles, paintings and tie-dye tshirts.
The Gift Box by Marlene Moore
The Cornmill Shopping Centre store offers everything bling that your heart could desire and first opened in June.
The fine-lane 10-pin bowling alley opened at the Dolphin Centre back in May and is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Opening back in July, the soft play at the Majestic has proved popular with children in Darlington.
If we’ve missed your business please get in touch at [email protected] and let us know.
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