A brewery could open in the Royal Quays as part of plans to revitalise the North Shields shopping village.
With footfall plummeting during the Covid-19 pandemic, bosses are shifting away from retail.
Now plans have been lodged by Black Storm Brewery to breathe life into one of the site's empty units.
The firm wants to open as a brewery and a late-night taproom, as part of ambitious plans which could transform Royal Quays into a late-night "destination".
ChronicleLive also understands that a string of other businesses - from restaurants to a distillery - are lined up to move in during 2021.
Manager Matt Dawson hopes the exciting plans could prove a shot in the arm for the centre, which last year was said to "dying on its feet".
"Retail like hospitality overall has struggled with online, Covid and many businesses facing administration, especially over the last five years," admitted Matt.
Over a quarter of the site's 57 units are currently empty and footfall is down 90% since the start of the pandemic. Just six stores are able to operate under the current lockdown rules.
Matt said: "While this is damaging, it has given us the time to focus and hopefully refresh the place for when things do start to relax again."
And that could mean a string of new businesses moving in, including Black Storm, which has submitted a licensing application to take over the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill unit.
Having operated from Newcastle down to Stockton, the brewery - which runs Whitley Bay's Black Storm Bottle Shop - said the plans represented a move back to their "spiritual home" of North Tyneside.
"The premises represents a change in direction, not only for Black Storm, but also for the Royal Quays," states the licensing application.
It adds: "The operators and the landlord are keen to develop a destination location here, not just individual premises, to drive trade after typical retail/leisure hours."
As such, the brewery is seeking permission to open as late as 1.30am. Gutterbowl Alley - owned by the team behind Lane 7 - already operates on the site until 10pm.
If the plans are approved, more firms could follow. According to the application, a restaurant and a distillery could soon follow on the condition Black Storm opens.
And Mr Dawson said Garden World and Ice Cream World will open in spring - with the possibility of confirming a further three new businesses in mid-February.
The application adds: "These changes of use will take the Royal Quays away from just a purely retail offering.
"The hope is to develop a family-friendly location, that also caters for adults, but gives people the change to hang around at the Royal Quays for longer than just a couple of hours by it becoming an experience-driven location."