A FORMER nightclub is being transformed into two new bars after more than £1.5million worth of investment.
Gatecrasher on New Briggate is being taken on by two separate companies.
Manahatta – a New York-style bar – will be situated at the Merrion Street side of the building.
The venue will offer punters a taste of the Big Apple when the brand new £1.5million bar opens its doors next week.
Manahatta takes over part of the old Gatecrasher site, which was formerly the Tower Cinema, and keeps the original curved ceiling of the picture house as a main architectural feature.
Manahatta opens on November 8, but to prepare punters for the launch, a yellow taxi complete with Marilyn Monroe look-a-like arrived at the site yesterday.
The venue takes up a 9,000sq ft area over two floors, and is the 12th venue for Leeds-based bar and restaurant operator, Arc Inspirations.
The company is also behind neighbouring bar The Pit, as well as The Box, Trio and The Arc in Headingley.
Managing director Martin Wolstencroft said: “We see this venue as a major destination for the city of Leeds and a milestone for Arc Inspirations – it’s the 12th in our portfolio, our largest site to date and our biggest investment of more than £1.5million.
“Manahatta is a state of mind, and we’re looking forward to providing just that – a unique experience in drinking and dining within a relaxed atmosphere with great music and more than a hint of glamour.
“Quality in all remains at the forefront and we can’t wait to show what we’re all about.”
It will serve cocktails, wine and food inspired by the city of New York, with a menu by well-known Leeds chef Anthony Flynn.
Meanwhile on the New Briggate side of the building, another Leeds bar is preparing to open its doors.
The Brotherhood of Pursuits and Pastimes bar will be housed in the entrance of the former Gatecrasher nightclub, and is also set to open on November 8.
The sports bar is the brainchild of Demon Leisure, led by former Leeds Metropolitan University student Seema Dhiman and Dirk Mischendahl.
It will feature nine HD screens and will give customers the chance to switch between channels.
Seema said: “This northern corner of the city has established an international reputation as a destination for those who love brilliant bars and we hope that The Brotherhood will be a welcome addition to the area, offering something that is different and compliments the forward-thinking bar scene in the city.”
She added: “This isn’t your usual sports bar concept. We’ve created a place where our customers can completely absorb themselves in the enjoyment of sport.”
Dirk said: “We’ve taken into account the interactive nature of our lives today – the fact that people want the ability to control what, where and when they watch sport.
“We offer customers the opportunity to plug in their headphones for an intimate viewing experience or, with multiple large screens which can be viewed from every aspect of the bar, let engaging with friends take centre stage and allow sport to be a pleasant pastime in the background.”