Deli 91 - How a historic Leeds pub went from pints to pastrami

It's the historic Leeds pub which was saved from demolition by an entrepreneur with a vision.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 6:00 am
Nicola Tomlinson outside Deli 91 at The Beulah. PIC: Simon Hulme

The Beulah on Tong Road in Farnley welcomed generations of drinkers through its doors down the decades.

But it was due to be knocked down and replaced by five houses until planning permission was refused in 2016.

That's when Nicola Tomlinson stepped in to buy the historic building which dates back to 1830. The mother-of-one opened a popular bistro on the site as well as a home and interiors business.

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German prisoners of war working on a housing estate in August 1940.

Fast forward to 2021 and she has continued to breath new life into the historic building with the opening of Deli 91, named after the old prisoner of war camp that used to be based at nearby Post Hill.

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Camp 91 was one of 1,026 camps across the UK, built for European prisoners of war who were allowed to work both on the farms and within the local community.

Prisoners in the camp were granted certain privileges, which allowed them an evening stroll. With the Beulah open across the road many would gather for the evening and this is where they would go on to meet their British sweethearts.

Nicola Tomlinson outside The Beulah. PIC: Simon Hulme

"Prisoners from the camp would come over to The Beulah when they were allowed out and they were welcomed by the people that live here," said Nicola. "Many of them met their sweethearts right here and went on to have families with them, we think that's a lovely story. That message of a bright future coming from difficult times seems extra poignant at the moment.'

The Deli 91 ethos is ‘supporting local’ with all products sourced from fellow Leeds-based businesses. They’ve teamed up with, among others, Sweet Baby Cheezuscakes, Gilchrist Bakery, Bapman and Hoggin’, Northern Monk and Sweet and Sour Bakehouse.

Nicola added: "It’s never been more important to spend money with the amazing small businesses we have in our area, and anyone who comes to Deli 91 will be supporting two local businesses - us and our very talented selection of suppliers".

And she says it has become not just been a place to buy food or drinks: "During lockdown The Beulah and now Deli 91 have been a community hub, somewhere for people to visit and say hello (from a distance). We are so grateful for the support of our local customers: we wouldn’t have got through the pandemic without them."

The Beulah in March 1994.

* Though based in the same building as The Beulah bistro, there is a separate entrance for Deli 91 customers, so they can enter safely under Covid guidance and not have to worry about muddy boots.

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