City Buzz: New bar, restaurant and arts space opens in Leeds city centre

Matty Wall, Sam Ward, Sam Haworth and Nick Lofts who have opened The Brunswick in North Street, Leeds. Pic: Bruce Rollinson.
Matty Wall, Sam Ward, Sam Haworth and Nick Lofts who have opened The Brunswick in North Street, Leeds. Pic: Bruce Rollinson.
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ANOTHER WEEK, another bar opening. And City Buzz has a good feeling about this one.

The latest venue to join Leeds’ busy nightlife scene is The Brunswick.

The cool newbie on North Street adds something different to the city’s already thriving Northern Quarter.

Set up by four friends, The Brunswick is made up of a bar area on the ground floor serving beer, ale and the usual spirits and wines, a relaxed dining and drinking area on the second floor and a quirky arts space on the top floor.

It’s hard to imagine that just a matter of months ago the 140-year-old building was a derelict shell.

In the past the historic building has been a Christian centre and even a wedding dress shop.

But Matty Wall, Sam Ward, Sam Haworth and Nick Lofts have worked round the clock to bring the building back to life and are keen to create something new for Leeds.

Sam Ward, 22, said: “It’s not really hit me yet as to what’s happening.

“It’s nice to see people in here because we’ve worked so hard to get it finished. It’s rewarding to finally get to this point.”

The team behind The Brunswick may look young but they’ve got a wealth of experience between them, from Belgrave Music Hall and Northern Monk to the Nation of Shopkeepers and Tall Boys Beer Market.

Sam Haworth, also 22, explains: “The four of us have a great professional relationship and a good balance with a social relationship too, which you have to have in the service industry.”

It’s clear the team is passionate for what they’re doing, and it shines through.

Little details have been carefully thought about and the planning has been in-depth.

Take the menu, for example, which boasts a small but impressive list of locally-sourced dishes – all of which are under £5.

There’s ‘dippy duck eggs’ with sourdough soldiers; ‘home fries’ with rosemary, thyme and garlic; braised beef and mash with star anise and pomme puree; pork ragu pappardelle and a tasty grilled cheese toastie made with bread from the Leeds Bread Co-Op.

Matty Wall, 28, is in charge of the kitchen. He said: “We didn’t want a half-baked product.

“Every element from the custom-made furniture to the food has had as much effort put into it as we could.”

The Brunswick opened last night with music by DJ Mo Kolours and its first exhibition by the I am Collective, with live drawings and light projections.

There are plans to bring in a new exhibition every two months, and the team is keen to support and showcase local artists.

“The art space is the prettiest part of the building,” Sam Ward adds.

“We wanted to keep it quite raw so that it’s a bit of a blank canvas for any artists who want to express themselves.

“It’s important to us that we work with people we want to and keep a community feel.”

It’s one of a string of new bars to set up shop in the area in recent months and with nearby venues like The Reliance and Hansa’s seeing success after decades in the area, we’re hoping The Brunswick will be here for years to come too.

For more information about The Brunswick, you can follow @brunswickleeds on Twitter.

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