Whitley Bay gained a new bar and cafe in the form of Baba Yaga’s House, offering a tasty menu of food and drink plus a few extra touches visitors might not expect.
Behind the quirky new addition to the coast are brother and sister duo Madé Stores, 25, and Kester Stores, 29. After growing up in Whitley Bay, the couple wanted to bring something new and unique to the area.
One of the best-known figures in folklore, ancient European stories portray the supernatural Baba Yaga as living in a wooden hut standing on chicken legs. While renovating the unit on Whitley Road where their cafe is now located, Madé and Kester discovered wood paneling behind the interior of the old store – and decided to make their new bar and cafe a fairy tale. .
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The duo opened the doors of Baba Yaga’s House on May 31, with the aim of creating a cozy and offbeat space with a warm atmosphere “where everyone feels good and happy”. Paneled from floor to ceiling with antler chandeliers, a hanging wicker chair, and artwork filling the walls, the venue is a unique addition to Whitley Bay.
Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Monday, Baba Yaga’s starts the day as a café before transforming into a late-night bar. Coffee and soft drinks are offered to brunch and lunch visitors, along with an extensive sandwich menu served until 5 p.m.
The venue offers a cocktail menu for later in the day, including a special Baba Yaga rum with a fruity blend of pineapple, cranberry and lime, as well as a wine list. Platters to share are also offered from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. so that guests can treat themselves to a charcuterie or a cheese platter for lunch or dinner.
Another element that sets Baba Yaga’s House apart as a unique venue is its support for local artists and businesses. The artwork that adorns the wooden walls of the cafe and bar are all made by talented local artists – and most are available to purchase, with Made and Kester offering the space to artists for free.
The cafe doesn’t just serve as an art gallery – potted plants also line the Baba Yaga display cases that are on sale to visitors, all from Whitley Bay’s The Potted Plant Shop. These quirky aspects of the place are all part of Madé and Kester’s dedication to supporting and encouraging local businesses.
And, in a testimony from the Whitley Bay community that will come as no surprise to locals, the siblings have received as much support as they give. Popular nearby venues including Jam Jar Cinema, The Split Chimp Brewery and Laurels Theater have all been in touch to welcome Baba Yaga to the area.
Madé and Kester say the encouragement they’ve received from the people of Whitley Bay has been “absolutely amazing” – and they hope news of Baba Yaga’s house continues to spread. “Come for a drink, see the art and leave with a plant”, invites Madé – and who could resist such an offer?
Watch the video above to discover Baba Yaga’s house.