Cheers! New cocktail bar Dirty Martini set to shake things up in Leeds city centre

The Dirty Martini bar at Hanover Square in London.

The Dirty Martini bar at Hanover Square in London.

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ANOTHER exciting name could be set to join the Greek Street renaissance, City Buzz can exclusively report.

Just a few weeks after we announced that the street was going car-free in a bold bid to become the city’s biggest outdoor drinking and dining destination, we can now reveal that bosses behind a top London nightspot are looking to join the area.

The Dirty Martini bar in Clapham.

The Dirty Martini bar in Clapham.

Popular celebrity haunt Dirty Martini could be branching out with a new venue in Leeds city centre.

Bosses behind the successful London outfit were staying tight-lipped about their latest potential venture, but they did confirm to City Buzz that they are in the early stages of setting up shop here in Leeds.

Daniel Coffer, development director, said: “Leeds is one of a number of new sites we are pursuing.

“At present we are in the early stages of the process.”

City Buzz understands the company is looking at the former Gourmet Burger Kitchen site, within Minerva House at the end of Greek Street.

Dirty Martini only has sites in London so far – including Mayfair, Covent Garden and St Paul’s – but is looking to expand.

Parent company CG Restaurants and Bars also own gourmet pizza offering Fire and Stone and top London restaurant Tuttons at Covent Garden.

A statement on the company’s website makes it clear that they are keen to expand the empire: “CG Restaurants and Bars is a young company on a mission – to grow into becoming the UK’s leading name in casual dining and cocktail bars.

“We already have a number of thriving restaurants and bars in a range of prominent venues throughout London and the southern regions, which we aim to build on as we expand further.”

It’s no wonder then that their eyes have turned to Leeds – and in particular Greek Street.

The road, which was once a thriving hub, has struggled in the past few years but it is well and truly back in the running after a £20m investment to regenerate the area.

The big-money investment has seen outdoor spaces improved and nearby properties and office space revamped, triggering a wave of new businesses trying to cash in on the up-and-coming destination.

Italian eatery Gusto and cocktail bars The Alchemist, The Liquorist and 7, Greek Street Social have all opened on the road in past year alone.

Work is also under way on the new 90-bed boutique Dakota hotel.

Combine this with the news that the street is being pedestrianised, and you have a winning formula for an impressive nightlife offering.

The plans to make the street car-free came into effect last week, and aim to create a more upmarket, continental-style cafe culture vibe.

It’s only a six-month trial for now, and runs from 5pm to midnight on Thursdays and Fridays, and 1pm to 12am on Saturdays and Sundays.

It follows in the footsteps of Merrion Street, which went car-free back in 2014 and has gone from strength to strength.

It’s great to see another exciting newbie might be entering the fray, and coming hot on the heels of restaurants Iberica and Stockdale’s, the future’s looking a whole lot brighter for Greek Street.

Date: 23rd June 2017.
Picture James Hardisty.
Leeds marketing firm Banana Kick, based at The Engine Room, Roundhouse Business Park, Grainers Way, Leeds, have encouraged staff to bring their dogs to work on Bring a Dog to Work Day.
Pictured Sasha Russell, with 'Hetty', her Miniature Dachshund at her work station.

Dogs take up their desks for a day’s work