5 Cloth Market, in main area of Bigg Market.
Metro - Central Station
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Thursday - Sunday 8pm till late.
Telephone 0191 2223131



Large old Newcastle pub with an historical interest that has recently been transformed into another typical Bigg Market bar. The pub is on the site of the Wheatsheaf pub & music room which dates back to 1862. It was previously named after the licensee John Balmbra and has been famous for its music hall for over 100 years. The song "The Blaydon Races" was first performed here by George Ridley.

The new Reflex bar has been moved from its former position at the top of the Bigg Market area into this famous old establishment. The old style has been ripped out and replaced with just another weekend drinking bar. It is a shame given its cultural interest and I feel the new look does nothing to keep the memory old Balmbras apart from the futile attempt to retain the name. The new bar has two large bars at the front and rear with limited seating throughout.

The front bar is small with some lounge seating at one side and all the psychedelic lights, flashing screens and fixtures of the eighties. The large rubik cube lights are an indication of what you are about to experience. The DJ is situated at the one end of the bar and there is also several TV's on show. The rear bar is very large and is usually only open at the weekend. Very loud eighties music is on play at most times. The bar has a lively atmosphere at weekends but only from about 8pm onwards. On a Friday & Saturday free entry before 10pm with Club Tropicana.

Disabled access very good to main bar with a special designated disabled toilet to the side of the pub. Toilets are small and clean.

Check out the bars own website at



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Beers: Worthington's, Carling, Stella Artois and Guinness on tap. Woodpecker and Strongbow cider also on offer. A good selection of bottled beers, shooters and cocktails available.


No food advertised. Drinking bar only.


Special Offers: Monday VK, Beck's & Reef 1.00. 2 for 1 on Reef, Carling & Beck's Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday. Cocktails 2.50 (Pitchers 7.50), Shooters 1.50 or 4 for 5.00. Special offer on Double spirits with mixer 2.99 all night long. Double Vodka & Red Bull 2.95.

Hens & Stag Nights:
Can be arranged with Free Entry for the party, Free Party Pack, Free Bubbly and Q Jump. Book online at website

Picture of Balmbras prior to change in name