City Buzz: Leeds’ new ‘secret’ underground cocktail bar unveiled

7 Greek Street Social, Leeds. Pic: Simon Hulme.

7 Greek Street Social, Leeds. Pic: Simon Hulme.

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LONDON is known for being saturated with off-the-wall hipster bars.

From drinking dens hidden behind mirrors and a cocktail bar you have to enter through a fridge (seriously), you can’t exactly say they’re lacking in imagination.

7 Greek Street Social Social.

7 Greek Street Social Social.

And it seems some of that is now starting to rub off on Leeds.

New bar 7 Greek Street Social seems to be following in the Big Smoke’s footsteps.

To gain entry to the newest bar in Leeds city centre, you’ll first have to find its specially-installed phone box on Greek Street and dial a ‘secret’ number.

You’ll then get through to a barman who will give you strict instructions on how to get into the bar.

The stairs in front of The Liquorist, which leads to the new bar.

The stairs in front of The Liquorist, which leads to the new bar.

In truth, the bar is actually a revamped version of the basement bar at the old Living Room site, which has recently been re-branded as The Liquorist.

But visitors who do eventually make it into the new underground bar will get to choose from a pretty impressive cocktail menu, as well as a decent list of wines, beers and spirits.

Expert mixologists from Leeds, London and Chester have come up with their own bespoke cocktails for the new menu, with creations including Yorkshire Punch, the Cold Toddy and Soleros.

However, a small catch is that the bar is only open on weekends.

Doors open from 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and corporate events to be held on Sundays.

‘7’ is the latest addition to what a rapidly growing list of bars and restaurants that seem to be flocking to the area.

Italian eatery Gusto opened its doors last month just across the road at the old Henry’s bar site.

It will soon be followed by cocktail bar The Alchemist, which is due to open at the former Prohibition venue in October.

Other newbies to the Greek Street area include tapas restaurant La Rambla and trendy bar The Office.

Both venues opened nearby at the former OK Karaoke building on East Parade earlier this year.

Not only that, but building work on the luxury, boutique Dakota hotel is also underway on the street.

If you cast your mind back a year or so ago, it was a very different story.

Greek Street, which was once a hive of activity and the go-to place for a night out, had become a shadow of its former self.

Prohibition, Quid Pro Quo, OK Karaoke, Sam’s Chophouse, Henry’s and Akbar’s had all closed, and the arrival of Trinity Leeds saw the flow of footfall directed elsewhere in the city centre.

The new ‘7’ bar and its quirky phone box may not be for everyone, and I’m sure there will be some people out there who will not be fussed for it at all.

But it’s certainly different and is an exciting concept for a bar that’s joining what is turning out to be a rejuvenated, up-and-coming part of Leeds city centre.

Just don’t expect us to be crawling through any chilled kitchen appliances any time soon.

Police and onlookers at the scene in Harehills, Leeds. Picture: Steve Riding

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