Leeds United players' favourite trainer shop moves to block opening of new Martinez Wines bar

A Yorkshire wine bar hoping to move into Leeds has insisted it won’t make booze-fuelled crime in the city centre any worse.

By David Spereall, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 6:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 7:05 pm

Martinez Wines, which has premises in Ilkley and Bingley, is trying to secure a licence to open a bar and shop on Swan Street, off Briggate.

But two of its potential neighbours have tried to block the move, with one claiming that issues with drunks urinating, defecating and having sex outside would be made worse by more booze coming into the area.

Martinez has said it is targeting customers who are working professionals over the age of 30.

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Martinez Wines has applied for permission to move into an empty unit previously occupied by Bagel Nash, in the city’s Thornton’s Arcade.

The company will find out next week if Leeds City Council will give them the licence for the unit, which was previously occupied by Bagel Nash but has been empty for about a year.

At a public hearing on Tuesday, the owner of high-class trainer store McKickz, said he “literally has to tiptoe” over puddles of urine to get into his shop every day.

The independent Briggate shop, which has shoes listed for four-figure prices online, counts Leeds United players among its regular customers, councillors were told.

McKickz’s owner, who gave his name at the hearing only as ‘Sean’, said: “We have to deal with anti-social behaviour on a daily basis. We’re talking about people having sexual intercourse, faeces, urination.

“Ilkley and Bingley are different in comparison to Leeds city centre. It’s more of a student population here.

“We’ve got young people who drink wine. We’ve got young people who drink champagne.

“With the issues we’ve got it, it’s all likely to carry on.”

The store owner said the wine bar’s plans to have a toilet upstairs rather than on the ground floor would encourage drinkers leaving the bar to urinate in the street.

He added: “I’m very angry and upset, I’ve invested a lot of money to bring something to Leeds city centre which wasn’t here before.

“But we’re having to deal with all of this 24 hours a day.”

Martinez’s representative, William Cartwright, said bringing the vacant unit back into use could help reduce those issues, by making Swan Street less covert.

Mr Cartwright said: “We sympathise with the concerns expressed by the objector and the difficulties they face.

“My personal opinion is that this proposal will make them better, especially when the doors are open and the lights are on.

“This is a long-term commitment to Leeds and we’re very keen to get on with our neighbours and fellow traders and make a positive contribution to the city.”

Mr Cartwright said he’d be “surprised” if any Martinez customers were caught urinating in the alleyway, but said any that did would face “lifetime bans”.

All parties were told they’d be informed of the council’s decision in writing within five working days.

David Spereall, Local Democracy Reporting Service