Bar Delta: Meet the man behind the new bespoke cocktail bar that's opened in Leeds
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Bar Delta, formerly Better Days, is the latest addition to the Grand Arcade, a Grade-II listed shopping centre steeped in history. Will Spenser took over the bar in October, stripping it out and renovating the interior.
It’s been a long-held dream of Will’s to open his own cocktail bar, after working in the hospitality industry for around eight years. He packed up his life in Derby and relocated to Leeds just a week before opening Bar Delta.
Will, 27, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I always came back to cocktail bars and my love of cocktails. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and build something from the ground up, offering something I’m proud of to the public.
“It’s a beautiful area. Most of the Grand Arcade is Grade-II listed - those buildings come with their challenges, but they’re beautiful places. No matter how much you change them, they keep their own essence and that draws people in.
“There has literally been blood, sweat and tears going into it. But it’s been a really nice experience - having a vision, putting it into practice and ending up with something I’m very happy with. “
The bar’s name symbolises the open delta sign, representing a willingness to accept change and work with the challenges that life throws our way. And Will’s ethos is infused into the ever-changing cocktail menu - from the current Christmas specials to one of his favourites, the Electric Iced Tea, a twist on the classic Long Island cocktail with citrus notes.
Will said: “Every month, my wonderful staff come up with brand new cocktails and change things in and out. They really help me with keeping things bespoke and they’re so helpful - they’ll bend over backwards for anyone who comes in, whether there’s five people in the bar or 70.”
Will has a vision to create a space for the community to get together and participate in events, from open mic nights to comedy clubs. His plans for the New Year include more live music and a special Valentine’s Day event.
“We’ve got a lot of fun things lined up,” Will added. “We want to have more things for people to not just be able to come and watch, but be able to participate in. Especially when we’ve got the theatre nearby. It’s an entertainment-based area.”
Will said he is excited to be a part of the Grand Arcade community, which is home to many long-standing businesses, including Tailors, the Domino Club, and Just Grand Vintage Tea Room.
Will said: “Everyone that’s had a booking with us has given us amazing feedback - we’ve had people posting reels of their time here on Instagram, potential return bookings. I don’t think we’ve had a single bad review.
“I love the graft - being able to go in and know that whatever happens in the day, no matter who comes in, it’s fun. People keep you on your toes. They do surprising things! No two days are alike and that’s why I got into the business, that’s why I love the job.”