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Leeds in Bloom: New Openings Part 8

Leeds in Bloom: New Openings Part 8

Words by
Vicky Zaremba & Chapter 81

We’re back with all the latest Leeds openings (and a sneak preview of those to come).  Leeds in Bloom Part 8 takes you to all the best new places in the city centre, the suburbs, and back. You’re just one quick read away from filling your diary with endless hours of good times. Let’s get started.

But first, coffee…

Livett’s Coffee Shop – St Peter’s Square

Livett’s Coffee Shop on St Peter’s Square is a new on-the-go, kiosk-style café from the team behind the Wardrobe. Open 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am and 2 pm Saturday, Livett’s serves ethically sourced, sustainably produced coffee from local roastery North Star and sweet treats by Bakerei Balterzens and Blond and Brown. General manager Ryan North said, “We’re buzzing to bring Livett’s Coffee Shop to the Cultural Quarter.” It’s not hard to see why. 2024 will be a busy year for iconic Leeds venue, the Wardrobe, as it celebrates its 25th birthday. 

Top tip: Friday is Blond and Brown delivery day. With flavours like Lotus biscoff, salted caramel, and (vegan-friendly) orange and pistachio, you might want to get down there before they’re gone.

Raw Coffee – Mill Hill

Alongside the many new coffee shop/roastery pairings in Leeds, Raw on Mill Hill is grinding its own path. Raw roasts its own beans from the former Lox of Love and Sketch unit (just down from Bundobust and Tharavadu and opposite Head of Steam). The speciality coffee shop, brewing everything from long blacks to matcha infusions and cold brews, also serves bagels and baked goods, focusing on pared-back precision and quality. Open from 7:30 am Monday to Friday, 8:30 am Saturday and 10:30 am Sunday, it’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite before heading into the city.

Opposite – Stonegate Road, Meanwood

As Raw moves in, another established speciality coffee shop grows outwards. Opposite has opened a chain in Leeds suburb Meanwood, on Stonegate Road next to Boot and Rally. Alongside Opposite’s thriving Chapel Allerton business, the new shop expands the Opposite brand outside the city centre. While excellence in speciality coffee is its focus (in partnership with North Star), aficionados can also enjoy Levantine cuisine prepared by MorMor and cakes and baked goods made on-site.

The new store has been a labour of love for owner Lou Henry, who has led with sustainability on the refurb, recycling furniture and equipment from previous sites. She’s also carefully considered the use of materials, water consumption, and packaging. So, if you’re looking for a guilt-free way to spend a few delicious hours away, this is the place.

RAW on Mill Hill RAW on Mill Hill
Opposite in Meanwood Opposite in Meanwood

Kofi and Co. – Street Lane, Roundhay 

Kofi and Co., a joint venture with former area manager at Filmore and Union, Harrison Pinder, and his artist brother George, has opened in Roundhay on Street Lane following the success of its Wetherby branch. Kofi and Co. prides itself on serving food everyone loves with something for everyone. If you’re in the market for a relaxed weekend brunch, this could be the place for you. 

To give you a glimpse of what’s on offer, Kofi and Co. serves coffee from roastery York Coffee Emporium and an all-day menu of breakfast sandwiches, deli, and brunch club favourites like the Kofi Grill, pancakes, and club sandwiches––all this amongst original art by co-founder George. 

Caffé Nero – Vicar Lane

There are enough independent coffee shops in Leeds to avoid large coffee chains entirely if you prefer, but for a Caffé Nero fix there are 15 in the city to choose from. The latest one to open, on Vicar Lane, is in the old NatWest building, next to White Stuff and opposite The Ivy entrance to the Victoria Quarter. Which is handy if you’re walking through to Victoria Gate and John Lewis.


Boojum – Merrion Centre

Boojums’s eye-popping exterior wasn’t the only thing enticing Leeds foodies to the launch of its first UK restaurant on Merrion Street. Fans of the Irish Mexican burrito bar, owned by the Azzurri Group, which also operates Zizzi, ASK and Coco di Mama, queued around the block for hours at the former Dunkin’ Donuts site, hoping to sample a free burrito.

If you were among the first 300 lucky recipients, you’ll know first-hand the Boojam USP is quality, natural ingredients. If you didn’t hot-foot it down in time, don’t worry. The Boojam menu is also top-rated on Deliveroo. Paul McCullagh, Head of Marketing, said Boojam is “delighted to be a part of the bustling food scene in Leeds City Centre”.  Likewise, Paul! 

Wingstop – Boar Lane

American fast-food chicken shop Wingstop has landed on Boar Lane, taking over the former Barburrito site. The restaurant is Wingstop’s first dine-in experience in Leeds, fuelled by its popularity with fans on Deliveroo. Diners can look forward to wings, chicken tenders, boneless selections, burgers, fries, and combos. A smothering of ranch, blue cheese or honey and mustard sauce is optional but highly recommended.

Boojum in Merrion Centre Boojum in Merrion Centre
Wingstop on Boar Lane Wingstop on Boar Lane


Honey – Leeds Corn Exchange

Honey, the brainchild of Leeds local and Leeds Arts University graduate Amy Garth, brings reasonably priced vintage and handmade fashion to the Corn Exchange. Rails of plentiful 70s, 80s, Y2K-era vintage finds and outfit-popping accessories are among Amy’s artfully curated pieces. It’s a nostalgic rabbit hole for vintage lovers of all ages. Just enter through the neon green door. 

Holland and Barrett – Commercial Street

Health food favourite Holland and Barrett was located in Leeds Trinity for some years. Fans of the store will be pleased to see it has relocated to the former site of Clinton Cards (on the corner opposite Boots). It’s bigger, lighter and brighter than before, creating an upgraded shopping experience. If you’re not into your health foods, why not check it out anyway; a bit like a DIY store, shelves of unfamiliar yet interesting products make for a strangely captivating browse. 

Goods In  – Leeds Corn Exchange 

Starting during the pandemic, David (the owner) set up the business with a small showroom in the suburbs of Leeds. They sell at markets around the country and supply props to TV and Film and businesses of all sizes. They also sell household goods and vintage supplies, and they have just opened a store at Leeds Corn Exchange, which we can’t get enough of. Think old cabinets, wooden trays, Victorian stoneware, and so much more.

Pubs, Bars and Clubs…

The Social – Merrion Street

The Social on Merrion Street, sister bar of the legendary Brudenell Social Club, moves into its second decade in style, reopening with a sympathetic transformation that retains its homely charm. Regulars, described by owner Nathan Clark as ‘the heart of the place’, will be pleased to see the addition of new booth seating and comfy Chesterfields, creating cosy little nooks for friendly co-conspiring. 

The refurbishment and layout change marks The Social’s 10th birthday, re-establishing its status as the go-to city bar for great drinks at great prices in a great atmosphere. Fancy joining them to raise a glass? Who are we to stand in your way?

Carousel and Home – Albion Street

If you’ve been looking to fill a Tiger, Tiger-shaped hole in your life, the wait is finally over. The £2M transformation has been four years in the making, but Carousel, a chilled daytime bar combining quality food and drinks with a fun games arcade experience, and Home, a multi-room nightclub with VIP experiences, are finally open. 

The ultimate party venue brings a new brand of fun to Albion Street and The Light. Start your day with a bit of friendly competition over everything from darts to karaoke, with a side of delicious cocktails and street food at Carousel. Then, continue into the early hours with festivals, rave bingo, and themed student parties at Home. For hours and hours of good times, you’re on to a winner. 

Pinot and Picasso – Central Arcade 

If the thought of competitive socialising leaves you feeling exhausted, Pinot & Picasso has the answer. The Australian paint-while-you-drink concept offers entertainment of a more refined nature, allowing you to ‘paint and sip’ the night away. Pinot & Picasso is already a success in other bohemian hotspots, such as Shoreditch, Brighton, and Liverpool. Central Arcade is its first venue in Yorkshire, the birthplace of artistic greats like Hockney, Moore and Hepworth. Ready to master the art of fun? Pinot and Picasso is a masterpiece in elegant entertainment.

Carousel - Adult only games Carousel - Adult only games
The Social has had a lick of paint The Social has had a lick of paint

Coming soon…

Knoops – Trinity Leeds

Knoops, the popular hot chocolate company, has opened its first store in Leeds at Leeds Trinity––and it takes chocolate beverages seriously. Forget your tail-end-of-the-coffee-menu whipped cream and marshmallows ‘speciality’ hot chocolate. Knoops has 20 different chocolate percentages combined with various milks and extra flavours. A large selection is vegan. Knoops also does coffee and baked goods, but let’s face it, you’re here for the chocolate all the way. 

Zara – Trinity Leeds

Zara will upsize and relocate from Briggate to the former 46,000 sq ft Topshop unit in Leeds Trinity. At the huge new flagship store, which will also showcase Zara’s latest technological innovations, shoppers can browse Zara’s Woman, Man, and Kids collections over three floors—opening 2024.

The Store House – Briggate

The Store House is an upcoming, design-led development of the old House of Fraser building, where student accommodation meets prime retail space. Student spaces will feature co-working/study spaces, a fitness and wellness suite, a lounge, recreation and private dining areas with a roof terrace and cinema. On the ground floor and basement will be 3,000 sq. m of retail space. Strong rumours on Twitter/ X is that Leeds might finally get a Uniqlo, whilst other rumours include a Market Square and a high-end lingerie store. Starting this year, the project is due for completion in time for the 2025-26 academic year. So, there’s a while to wait for this one.

Pranzo – Town Street, Horsforth

Pranzo will open its third Yorkshire site in the former Barclay’s Bank building on Town Street in Horsforth in May. At Pranzo, everything––pasta, bread, sauces, and desserts–– is made in-house by a team led by head chef and owner Marco Greco. The Horsforth restaurant joins Ilkley and Horsforth in bringing a taste of Calabria to North Leeds.

The Underground Bakery – Call Lane

The Underground Bakery will arrive on Call Lane this summer. The popular bakery, which originated in Otley, bakes everything from scratch. Fresh croissants and loaves will sit side by side with modern takes on classics like Marmite rolls (It makes sense, right?) With five stars on Trip Advisor, the word ‘amazing’ is featured heavily in reviews. We think it might be worth a trip.

Five Guys – Trinity Leeds

Fast food giant Five Guys will take over the former Giraffe space in Leeds Trinity at the end of April. Five Guys, which needs little introduction, specialises in build-your-own burgers (250,000 possible topping combinations, apparently), hearty fries portions, hot dogs, sandwiches and milkshakes. No doubt making a great pitstop for marathon Zara shopathons. 

Finally, we’re ending this Leeds in Bloom edition on three good-news stories…

Tetley X Kirkstall Brewery = The Tetley Pub – Aire Park

The Tetley’s future looked uncertain until Kirkstall Brewery announced it was taking over the lease and renewing its status as a ‘landmark of Yorkshire beer culture.” The art deco building is a proud icon of Leeds beer history, and, from May, it will feature beers from Kirkstall brands like Leeds Brewery, North Brewery, and other local breweries. 

Michael Cronin, Head of Portfolio at Vastint UK, the developer behind Aire Park and owner of The Tetley building, describes it as ‘the crown jewel of brewing history in Leeds, and ‘the centrepiece of Aire Park, alongside the eight-acre public park.’ Leeds beer and culture lovers, join us in breathing a collective sigh of relief. 

White Cloth Hall & The Victoria Hotel – Various

Behind the Corn Exchange, long-time Leeds residents will remember XS hairdressers, Pizza Express, and, more recently, a Brewdog bar. The team behind Whitelocks (taken over by the co-founder of Five Points Brewing, Ed Mason, in 2012) is set to consolidate the three units into one unified White Cloth Hall, opening this spring. The new food and drink hall will welcome independent regional food and drink producers, bringing authentic Leeds hospitality to the city in a reimagined, historic venue. 

The Whitelocks team will also join forces with Kirkstall Brewery to revive and restore the grade II listed The Victoria Hotel to its former glory. Opening in September 2024, The upper floors of the Victoria, located behind Leeds Town Hall, will be redeveloped into student accommodation, while the pub will remain intact. 

That’s three historic Leeds buildings: a 1930s brewery,  a 1775 merchants’ market and an 1865 Victorian building set to survive and thrive for years to come. We think that’s worth raising a glass. Don’t you? 


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