Harrogate gastropub Three's a Crowd confirms it has bought The Reliance in Leeds and will close venue for refurbishment

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The new owners of ‘Leeds’ first gastopub’, The Reliance on North Street, have been confirmed.

This week The Reliance’s owners since 2000, Joss Ainsworth and Becs Winlow, announced they were stepping down from running the bar and restaurant, which is known for its charcuterie. The couple brought the 1990s London gastropub trend to Leeds when they bought what was a cafe in a rundown area of the city centre over 20 years ago.

John Quinlan, owner of Three’s a Crowd in Harrogate, has been confirmed as the new proprietor of The Reliance, which will now close for several weeks for a refurbishment.

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It is understood that the venue will adopt the Three’s a Crowd name and branding. All 20 staff will keep their jobs, and 10 new roles will be created. It will re-open in February.

John Quinlan outside The RelianceJohn Quinlan outside The Reliance
John Quinlan outside The Reliance

Mr Quinlan opened his first venture in West Park, Harrogate, four years ago and has a fine dining background.

He said: “It’s a huge honour to play a role in The Reliance's significant story. The pub is more than just a venue, it’s an institution which I’m committed to upholding and keeping alive as we breathe new life into it. To commemorate this new chapter, Three’s A Crowd will continue to serve The Reliance’s bitter to customers old and new.

“Three’s A Crowd has gone from strength to strength since 2019 as we carved out our own cult following in Harrogate. Three’s A Crowd is a place where anyone can come and feel relaxed and welcome. I’m delighted to be investing in and expanding the brand into Leeds so our unique offering can be experienced in the city.

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“What's more, personally it’s a privilege to be taking the reins of The Reliance in the next chapter of our journey. It’s a venue that has been inspirational to so many business owners like myself - our dream is to continue the success built by Joss and Becs for the past twenty plus years as we build our second venue in this much-loved jewel of the Leeds gastro scene.”

Spread over two floors, the new Three’s A Crowd venue will seat up to 82 diners and will offer monthly events, tastings with locally sourced food and a bespoke, hand-picked wine list.