Why not treat yourself to a refreshing cuppa with a large slice of replenishing, unspoilt Whitley Bay history, while you gaze out through our elegant, arched Art Deco windows onto the panorama of sand and foam. Our warm, friendly staff have been welcoming the locals and visitors for generations — our countless loyal customers who return time after time are the Rendezvous' highest accolade!
"I always get that fleeting sense that whenever I step inside, I'm crossing a threshold where parts of the past and present converge in real time." — Sid Smith
In 1926, with the increasing hordes in search of healthy seaside fun and frolics, it was decided to extend the Whitley Bay North Promenade further northwards from the Panama Dip to where it slopes back down onto the beach, a short walk past Duchess Dene.
Our own story can be traced back to June 1930 when the café at Duke's Walk was built by Whitley Bay & District Council in the popular Art Deco style. (Local maps and holiday guides seem to show no trace of any type of structure on the site prior to this time.) The building was let to a Newcastle business, Rinaldo's, opening as the Garden Café & Restaurant. By 1932 the café was in the hands of proprietor W. Laidlow who offered "up-to-date catering".
The text of the official Whitley Bay Holiday Guide of 1947 mentioned the "Duke's Walk Café", also advertised more correctly within as the Palm Court Restaurant, its rather exotic branding at that time.
Since taking over in 1957, and changing the name to the now iconic Rendezvous Café, current owners the Arnone family have lovingly taken care, with the interior subtly freshened-up, and the bold external 'Teas' and 'Ices' signwriting restored after years of lashings by the weather. Back to Sid to bring us up to date:
"That they haven't modernised is really what makes the Rendezvous special. Retaining so many of the original features shows a quiet commitment to the place — the folks who run it are more like custodians, in it for the long haul. Where others have moved with the times, and tried various so-called updates and gimmicks, the Rendezvous has proved to be a fad-free zone. What it comes down to is this: if it isn't broke, why fix it?"