Checking in with the bars & restaurants that have been "coming soon" for ages
With so many new openings in Leeds week in, week out, it’s easy to forget about certain places along the way - announcements are made for openings that claim to be just around the corner but remain suspiciously absent as time goes by. Like the bar equivalent of your mate who sends the “Literally just leaving mine now” text when they haven’t even got in the shower, or Rick & Morty Season 3 in restaurant form.
We haven't forgotten though, so we checked in with some of the ones that got our hopes up...
Unnamed Grade II-listed cocktail bar
Catchy name, right? Manachain Monoghan - male model, master mixologist, magician and masseuse (maybe) - is the guy behind Monk, a confident and very able little cocktail bar in Buxton with a drinks list that could give anywhere in our city a run for its money. We announced in December that he’s on his way to Leeds, but since then things have been a bit quiet.
Don’t panic though, the bar is still on its way - delays and red-tape are to be expected when you’re putting a cocktail bar in the basement of a grade-II listed building. Expect an update very soon…
Status: Still coming. Date TBC. 12 South Parade, LS1 5QS
Following a successful campaign which saw them win Leeds Battle of the Burgers in 2015 when they came into the Canal Mills competition as touring champions and a subsequent appearance at Trinity Kitchen, Newcastle’s Fat Hippo announced last September that they’d be opening a full time Leeds restaurant.
Since then, sightings of a Fat Hippo burger around these parts have been rare - and not in the good, pink-in-the-middle sense, either. The Twitter account for their Leeds restaurant is still online and active which shows they haven’t forgotten about us, and we’ve got official word from an official spokeshippo who assures us they’re currently in talks about a lease.
Status: Still coming. Date & Venue TBC.
Doghouse Bar & Record Store
The owners of Brewery Place’s 212 announced the hotly-anticipated new venue at the beginning of this year with a Labour Manifesto’s worth of great promises; in-store sets by big name DJs, a retro video games arcade, a record shop with guest collections where you can dig through DJs’ crates to buy secret gems, and all within an East Coast US-style craft beer & shellfish bar. “It’s going to turn Kirkgate into the new Williamsburg!!” people hastily declared (guilty) - and then it all went a bit quiet.
That is, until now. Regulars at Wapentake next door will have noticed work being done to the venue, and even as I type this, workers are in the venue getting it all ship shape. The website says it’s still on track for 2017, we’d estimate an Autumn arrival all going well.
Status: Still coming. Some time 2017. 92 Kirkgate, LS2 7DJ. Website
Originally announced last September, “21st century local pub” The Dockyard was due to open in the Merrion Centre by November, but at the time of writing the only sign of its arrival are the “coming soon” banners wrapped around the vacant lot.
Has the craft beer bubble burst, causing all new developments to hang their schooners on their faux-industrial fittings and look for the next big thing? Unlikely. With Wetherspoons’ Stick or Twist just over the road offering a similar drinks list for a fraction of the price, there’s probably just not much demand for a premium bar to cater to the arena crowd right now, so why rush? With rumours that Stick or Twist might not be sticking around for much longer though, don’t expect The Dockyard to be dragging their heels much longer.
Status: Still coming. Date TBC. Merrion Way, LS2 8BT
Coming up with an atmosphere that - in their own words - combines “mansion splendour” with “village hall” eccentricity was always going to take a while considering they’re earmarked for a plot inside the old Next outlet, so it’s no wonder this one’s taking a while.
It looks as though work has begun on the new £8 million leisure hub on the corner of Albion Street and Bond Street now though, so as long as the builders don’t get too cosy, you can expect it to be open by the end of the year.
Status: Still coming. Some time 2017.
Rumour has it that this build-your-own burrito bar, named best Mexican restaurant in London by Zagat and best burritos in London by Time Out, is planning to open in the same hub as Cosy Club, so until we hear any differently, assume it’ll be launching around the same time.
Status: Probably still coming. Some time 2017
The Thai restaurant from Wagamama founder Alan Yau was announced in the first half of 2016 with the intention of occupying the bottom of 6-7 Park Row - otherwise known at the former Lloyds Bank building. If you’ve seen the gaff in the past couple of months though, you’ll have noticed that it’s undergoing some pretty significant renovation, due to be complete next Spring, so don’t bank on it opening any time soon.
Three things are inevitable whenever we get summoned over the pennines to see the Manchester Confidential fam:
1. We will enjoy a thoroughly rousing team meeting (...)
2. We’ll take the piss out of Manchester United
3. We’ll get a burrito from Panchos in Arndale Food Market.
You can imagine our delight to find out Panchos plans to bring their deli cantina style authentic Mexican over here - so where are they?
Originally lined up to occupy the new rooftop area of John Lewis, Southern-based champagne bar Searcys are no longer planning on moving into the venue - or any other in Leeds, for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry though, if you’re after a champagne bar there’s still Epernay on Great George Street, or 360 in Trinity Kitchen if being upstairs while drinking champagne is a strict requirement.