Greek Street has a whole new feel and look about it these days, it’s almost unrecognisable.
Gone are the desolate mechanical multi-storey car park, the popular Akbar’s restaurant and plenty of the bars that established it as a bar hub – it’s a bit of a building site at the minute.
Promises of a new five-star hotel, a second Leeds Alchemist and Gusto restaurant are afoot and look set to breathe new life into Greek Street.
The extravagant, showhome-like Living Room was a well-established destination for punters but it has been given a rebrand and is now up and running as The Liquorist.
It hasn’t changed hands, it’s still run by Stonegate Pubs Ltd, but it’s been refurbished and redesigned inside and the menu has had an overhaul.
Still very much a high-end venue, The Liquorist is plush. Buttoned turquoise, orange and green banquettes and booths combine with gleaming chandeliers, polished wood floors and a slick wood-topped tiled black and white bar.
Its double height central atrium still drenches the bar with natural light during the day but gone are the baby grand piano, velvet curtains and mocked-up mansion wood panelled walls.
The refit has introduced an earthier element to the space, with plenty of stripped back brick walls, art deco floor tiles and rustic high ceilings.
The renaming of the venue immediately makes you think of city success stories The Botanist and The Alchemist, which blend strong themes with style really effectively.
And though The Liquorist edges more towards the grandeur of its Living Room predecessor, there is a new down to earth vibe in here that was never really there before.
Its new-look menu has a playful array of around 40 cocktails categorised into classic, refashioned, daiquiri, chilled, martini, sours, fizz and quirky just dessert mixes, which include an unusual Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini and generally cost around £8-9.
You can sample as many red, white, rose and sparkling wines and champagnes, trial around 20 bottled world beers and ciders or the dozen or so varieties on tap such as Vedett, Peroni and Rekorderlig.
We opted for a gin, elderflower liqueur, cucumber, mint and apple English Country Garden cocktail and a rum, blackberry and ginger beer Release the Kraken. The former in particular went down a treat, packed full of flavour.
We followed those up with a bottle of Orchard Pig Reveller cider, which brought the bill to £18.65 thanks to the bar’s Wednesday £5 classic cocktails deal.
The Liquorist is a bar full of offers and has given a likeable but decadent venue a welcome revamp. Let’s hope the Greek Street revival continues.