The co-founder of a new Brazilian restaurant opening in Leeds next week has told how he was inspired to bring his business here because of the changing scene in the city.
Tomas Maunier spoke exclusively to City Buzz while he was putting the finishing touches to ‘Bossa’ ahead of a launch night on Monday saying the speed of changes happening in Leeds at the moment make it a good time to bring something new,
The restaurant is opening in the former Zizzi premises on Cloth Hall Street after a four month turn-around.
Bossa is old-fashioned Brazilian slang for doing something with particular charm, natural flair or innate ability, and bossa nova means ‘the new trend’.
Food will be fun and exciting with “a taste of the real modern South America” rather than themed restaurants but beyond that, it is the dining out and lifestyle culture sweeping the city at the moment that inspired Mr Maunier to build on his current business portfolio.
Already running Fazenda, a Brazilian eatery at Granary Wharf in the city centre, he is keen to keep the identities of the two places firmly separate and individual.
He said: “We don’t want the brands to be linked. Bossa is going to be the first one of its kind and we have great expectations about it and it is the first that will land in the UK.”
He says there were plans on the backburner to add to his offering in Leeds but it wasn’t until the Cloth Hall Street site became available that he decided to pursue it.
He said: “We have been discussing and thinking about this for a couple of years but not extra-active. It was something we had in our minds and wanted to do so it was going to happen at some point.
“Zizzi called and said they had this unit and do we fancy it and what was the plan at some point became a reality from one day to the next.”
Another reason behind taking the leap now was the current scene in Leeds and the rapidly changing offering from business to food to leisure.
Brazilian born, Mr Maunier, who came to the UK from Argentina with his wife when she was studying a Masters, said the positive vibe in Leeds right now was also a contributing factor to Bossa.
“We believe that when there are a lot of things going on they are positive things.
“With the number of restaurants opening up out there it can be scary and not everybody does well. But what we do think, the same with Manchester, Liverpool and many other northern cities - there is a big development within Leeds with restaurants, better bars and the offering is always changing.”
The trend has firmly shifted from cheap brand lagers and bad food to the Leeds clientele knowing what they want and expecting quality for their money.
This is what Bossa is looking to add to the Leeds eating out menu but with a relaxed sense of fun - in a similar way to the Turtle Bay brand which is in Leeds, Manchester and Huddersfield.
Mr Muanier added: “For me, I want something new, exciting and different to other options. Before you had to go to London for that. But in the last five to ten years there is a lot going on outside London. Leeds is changing a lot and it is a good time to bring something new.”