A new cafe takes over the empty Roker pod for drinks, snacks and stunning views of the Sunderland waterfront

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The trio of original pods have been around the corner from Marine Walk for about 13 years but are not always in use.

Now, Emmy Walls has leased one of the pods for permanent use as an Emmy coffee pod.

Open six days a week, the pod serves drinks, snacks, popsicles, buckets and spades, and treats for four-legged visitors, and in its first month of operation it has already established a regular clientele.

Emmy Walls at her new Emmy’s Coffee Pod in Roker.

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Emmy from Penshaw said: “Everyone has been so supportive and says it’s great to see one of the modules in use. They say the coffee is fantastic too, and I already have regulars, which is fantastic.

After working at McDonald’s for 15 years, most recently as business manager of the Roker branch, Emmy decided to start her own business – and she says it’s a gamble that paid off.

She said: “This part of the seafront is sheltered and it’s a real sun trap. There is only room in the pod for one person, but I need to have the best view of working at Sunderland. I really like chatting with people and everyone wants to stop and talk, so sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m at work.

People can head to the capsule hatch for takeaway drinks and snacks, with coffees from £1.80, but Emmy’s lease also includes space up front for up to eight tables for those who wish to sit down with their drinks.

The Roker Pods at the end of Marine Walk

Filling a gap in the morning beer market, Emmy is open from 7 a.m. on weekdays, making it popular with dog walkers and early-morning divers.

“I was looking for a permit for a coffee van and wanted a license, so I was already in touch with the council,” she explained.

“I knew I wanted to be on the seafront because you can’t get better views and it’s always crowded here. I was out for a walk one day and spotted the pods and asked the council about them and it turned out there was one for hire so now was the time ideal.

Emmy Walls at her new Emmy’s Coffee Pod in Roker.

Work is due to begin on the site towards the end of the year, with plans to open it in the second quarter of 2023 in time for the summer months.

Other new additions include the former Pier View toilet block which will open as Tin of Sardines on June 17. In addition to serving over 200 varieties of gin, the bar will serve draft beer, seafood and light bites.

:: Emmy’s Coffee Pod is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Wednesdays.

Emmy Walls at her new Emmy’s Coffee Pod in Roker.