Leeds' latest bar & restaurant openings, plus the ones you should be looking out for soon
Life comes at you fast, if you're not paying attention you might miss the opening of a new cocktail lounge, craft beer bar, or Venezuelan small-plates pop-up - can you imagine? Here are the latest bars and restaurants to open in Leeds, and a preview of what’s to come this September.
New this September:
The most talked-about and hotly-anticipated new opening of the year has landed, and it more than lives up to the hype. The collaboration between multi-Michelin starred chef Mark Owens (former head chef of The Box Tree in Ilkley, who’s also done turns at The Star in Harome and La Gavroche) and Leeds’ own MasterChef star Liz Cottam throws everything we thought we knew about fine dining out of the window - there’s still a choice of five and ten-course tasting menus which change every month, but the stiff, formal atmosphere is replaced by relaxed and bespoke service.
There’s also plenty of ways to enjoy the experience, including a shorter 3-course lunch service, a Sunday lunch-themed tasting menu, plonk-led wine club evenings where food is prepared to match the drinks, and guinea pig nights where adventurous diners go in blind and let the chefs serve up an unspecified number of one-offs and development dishes from the wildest depths of their imaginations. Be quick though, the waiting list for this one is going to keep growing and growing.
HOME, 16/17 Kirkgate, LS1 6BY.
Heaney & Mill
The opening of a nice little neighbourhood bistro is always a reason to be happy, but take into account that this one’s in Headingley - an area that’s been dying for such a thing to add to its enviable list of bars & restaurants - and it’s from a chef with a proven track record of knowing what they’re doing (MasterChef’s Tom Rennolds is head of the kitchen) and you can see why it’s causing such a stir with the locals.
The menu is fairly small and pretty seasonal, so expect it to change regularly, and the light-filled dining room and outdoor terrace is a must for basking in the last glimpses of the Summer sun. This place is definitely one to keep an eye on.
48 Otley Rd, LS6 2AL
Leeds has a new most Instagram-friendly cocktail bar, with Living Ventures’ (Blackhouse, Gusto) Red Door coming over from Manchester and bringing all sorts of extravagant garnishes and drinking vessels with them. Think disco balls, helium balloons, and fire (and then pity whoever has to write the risk assessment form).
There’s just as much consideration into what goes into the drinks as well as what they go into though, with plenty of top-shelf liquors as well as “The League of Extraordinary Products” spirits which are the very best examples of their kind.
11-15 Hirst Yard, LS1 6NJ
What an amazing night at Red Door Leeds last night, great atmosphere gorgeous cocktails and a fantastic venue 🍸🍾
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Opening this month:
Printworks Kitchen & Bar
Previously the very studious-sounding "Food Academy Leeds", Leeds City College's Printhall has been reborn as Printworks Kitchen & Bar. It's got a new, trendy, stripped-back look, and a contemporary bistro menu to match.
The menu is split between small, large, sharing, and sweet plates, and the kitchen is staffed by Leeds City College students training towards hospitality qualifications - so you could be getting cooked for by the next big thing in food & drink - with the reopening marked by MasterChef's Matt Healy (the handsome lad with the beard) doing a stint and taking the young chefs under his wing for the first couple of evenings.
Opens Friday 8 September, Hunslet Road
No, not the pitched-up hybrid of techno and drum & bass that provides a soundtrack while dreadlocked white men and the Dutch take speed and refuse to grow up - you’re thinking of gabber. Gabbar is a new restaurant that hopes to make its mark as the latest name to enter the crowded Indian street food/craft beer market.
The name? That’s a reference to iconic Bollywood villain Gabbar Singh. If this trend catches on you can look forward to the grand opening of Hannibal’s nose to tail restaurant some time in 2018.
Opens Friday 8 September, 17-19 Merrion Street
The old Cosmo restaurant on Boar Lane reopens at the beginning of this month, with a fancy new image focusing on their new, decorated head chef Mark Sweeney, their “new dining experience which combines exceptional food with the vivid theatre of live cooking”, and very carefully tiptoeing around the phrase “all you can eat buffet” and the images frozen spring rolls and screaming kids it evokes.
The new “experience” promises to take “food lovers who wish to embrace flavours from across the globe” on a “culinary journey”, which includes a bit of theatre from teppanyaki chefs cooking steak and seafood at live cooking stations, as well as placing “Yorkshire’s culinary heritage at the heart of global cuisine”.
Let’s hope the food’s as ebullient as the press release...
Opens Tuesday 5 September, Boar Lane.
Indian Tiffin Room
A firm favourite over in Manchester, Indian Tiffin Room specialises in authentic regional Indian dishes in a a casual, modern atmosphere that you don’t get in a typical curry house. It’s due to open in the next few months on Park Row, but don’t be surprised if we get impatient and nip over to Manchester to let you know what to expect before then…
Opening 2017, 31-32 Park Row
Food has always been an integral part of our culture and since it does not get any more Indian than us, give your taste buds a patriotic spin and join us to celebrate India's 70th anniversary of Independence with food at ITR!🇮🇳
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A new addition to the Reliance family, Wayward is based inside the tiny plot in the old George & Joseph spot in Chapel Allerton and will focus on two of the things that The Reliance does best: wine and great service.
The intimate bottle-shop will be covered from floor to ceiling in bottles of the quality, unorthodox wines they've become known for - order a glass while you spend some time browsing and picking the staff's brains for recommendations to take away. If you like it in there, all the bottles are available to drink at the bar while grazing on the likes of Reliance charcuterie and speciality cheeses sourced from George & Joseph.
Opens late October, Harrogate Road.
It's Monday and our wine shop shelves have had a bit of a re-stock... bottles from Ca' di Nocci, Mylene Bru, Fabien Jouves, Arianna Occhipinti, Domaine de la Borde, Patrick Sullivan and Niepoort are all available alongside the usual slew of current selections. We even got a drop of the new Ad Vinum stuff from @tuttowines just this morning. Bottles to go start from £8.50: come and get your rack sorted out.
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Temple Coffee & Donuts
The people who brought you some of the most recognisable mugs around are taking the next logical step, and opening a place where you can buy their goods as well as drink coffee.
Red Temple Prayer (the guys behind that Black Sabbath/Black Coffee logo, among other things) are opening their first bricks & mortar store in Kirkstall where you can get your hands on their clothes, accessories, and homeware, and if that wasn't enough they're also using it as a coffee shop in collaboration with Dark Arts coffee, and a donut bakery.
Expect OTT Voodoo Donuts-style creations with plenty of vegan options baked fresh in house - and if their retail collection is anything to go by, some exciting collaborations with local artists and creatives - when this opens just off Kirkstall Road sometime this Autumn.
VEGAN rose and pistachio and a vanilla 'Prince' inspired number... Trying all the glazes out this week...
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We’ve been on Neighbourhood watch for a while now and hoped to bring you news that Manchester and Liverpool’s New York-inspired lounge and kitchen would be opening in the former Carluccio’s plot on Monday 11 September. You’ll have to be patient though, as delays have pushed it back until Monday 2 October. But that’s definitely the right date this time, they’ve made a little video saying so and everything.
Opening Saturday 2 October, Greek Street.
Tinello by Amici
Famous for their authentic, rustic Italian dishes (as well as a chef that spontaneously treats the restaurant to bursts of operatic singing) Amici has made a name for itself in well-to-do Alwoodley, and it’s got its sights set on a city centre restaurant now, too. Named after the Italian word for a small dining room, expect intimate surroundings when they come to Wellington Street this Autumn.
Coming this Autumn, Wellington Street
Yes we first announced this in April, and yes it was meant to open in Summer, but did you really expect a cafe owned and staffed by cats (maybe) to move at anybody’s pace but their own?
Actually, they’re going as fast as they can, they’ve just been hit with a series of delays with the new premises, as well as occasionally getting distracted by a shoelace or the sound of somebody opening a tin in the distance (maybe). They’re still on course to open this year, though.
Due to open on Briggate, some time in 2017
Chester trying to work out how these straw things work ! Kittycafe.co.uk
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