Diggers have been brought in to clear the rubble from the Bizz Bar site on Ocean Road in South Shields.
Part of the building collapsed on Friday at 5.30pm, forcing the closure of surrounding roads for safety reasons.
Police, fire fighters and paramedics were called and it was soon established from CCTV footage that nobody was hurt.
Local resident Colin Smith said: "I was so shocked when I heard about it. Apparently two big beams inside collapsed while renovation work was being carried out inside."
Ian Dix also lives nearby. He said: "We heard somebody was doing work on the building, and a main supporting wall collapsed, but that's all I know."
Investigations into exactly what happened are still being carried out.
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