Monday 28 November 2016

Intu Eldon Square: Grey's Quarter - Cocktails at TGI Fridays

The most noticeable restaurant of all the new eateries in Eldon Square Grey's Quarter has to be TGI Fridays. Its giant sign in the window lights up Monument below like a beacon to burger lovers.

I'm sure we've all enjoyed many a "ooops I've eaten far too much" evenings out at TGI Fridays, it is, after all, a restaurant that's been in the UK since the 1980s. However, the new TGI Fridays in Eldon Square is actually offering its customers something a little different with a brand new concept restaurant, the first of its kind in the UK.

Curious? I certainly was! So, with a long overdue date night needed, Simon and I popped along to the VIP opening for a nose and some much needed cocktails.

The new look TGI Fridays offers diners a reason to visit at any time of the day which means bottomless Prosecco Brunch served between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm on weekends (yes please!), a value lunch menu, takeout options for those "on the go" and of course, a new look main menu for those wanting a proper night out on the Toon.

Probably the biggest change though is the huge new lounge and bar multifunctional area which is a fantastic addition to Eldon Square. There are comfy sofas to chill on, plenty of power sockets and free WiFi for laptop work, communal areas to grab a coffee with friends and a little stage for live music and DJ sets.

 We grabbed some comfy seats at the bar, a prime spot for people watching, chatting to the barmen and, of course, a clever way to ensure that our glasses were never empty.

Our night began with a Cherry Stag for me (Jim Beam Black Cherry infused bourbon shaken with Amaretto, cherry brandy and a dash of lemon juice) and a Lynchburg Lemonade (Jack Daniels, triple sec, sweet & sour and Schweppes lemonade) for Simon.

Please tell me it's not just me, but I always feel a little glamorous when I'm perched on a stool at a bar. It never fails to make me feel like I've stepped into a movie. It seems the opulent looking bar at the new TGIs makes you feel important even when you're dressed head to toe in Primark.

Second round and I went for the Raspberry Flower (Absolut Raspberri Vodka, elderflower, chilled apple and cranberry juices) which was a really light and refreshing cocktail. I almost forgot I was drinking alcohol, it tasted like a delicious fruit squash.  Simon opted for the Paradise Punch (Southern Comfort, Amaretto, grenadine and SKYY Vodka with pineapple, orange and lime juices) which I described as holiday in a glass.

As we enjoyed our drinks a few tasters from the new look main menu appeared. A selection of "can't get anywhere else" TGI Friday originals aimed to push the boundaries and delight diners. I have to admit that when the Bacon Lollipops covered in chocolate sauce and marshmallows  appeared I was a little confused, but Simon seemed to enjoy them. The Popcorn Shrimp and Muchos Nachos however were right up my street.

Last orders and I went for the Walk in the Tropics (Malibu, Lambs Navy rum, Amaretto and grenadine with lime, orange and pineapple juices) whilst Simon returned to his favourite of the night, the Lynchburg Lemonade.

I have to admit that TGI Fridays has always been somewhere that I've associated with burgers but they are a great destination for cocktails. In fact, many of the cocktails you see in bars across the world were first created at TGI Fridays and they have 500 cocktails on their menu.

 As I marvelled at the awesome juggling tricks demonstrated by the bartender in front of us (there were glass bottles spinning all over the place and he even caught a full bottle on his arm!) Simon, my resident movie geek, informed me that the classic 80s film Cocktail was actually filmed at the very first TGI Fridays. If their cocktails are good enough for Tom Cruise they're certainly good enough for me!

With Simon muttering that he might quite like to revisit the new TGI Fridays for his birthday next month (I think it was the Birthday Cake Shake he spotted on the menu that did it!) I don't think it'll be long before we return and this time we'll be trying out the food!

TGIs invited us to their VIP evening and treated us to complimentary cocktails. All thoughts and opinions are our own.



  1. Oh I'm off to research bottomless Prosecco - sounds fantastic!

  2. Sounds fab! A friend of mine works in the Middlesbrough TGI's so we're a frequent visitor for the staff discount!

    The new concept sounds brilliant! Have you checked out any of the other new places in Eldon?

    Declan @ The Northern Niche

  3. The chronicle seems less than impressed


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