Take a look inside Opera North's new Leeds restaurant Kino that's been years in the making

Doors have flung open at a Leeds city centre restaurant and bar that's been long in the making.

Thursday, 7th July 2022, 12:23 pm

Kino, from Opera North, is housed in the newly renovated Grade II-listed space below the Howard Assembly Room - adjacent to Leeds Grand Theatre.

The restaurant seats up to 100 people and is spread across three floors.

Working with independent businesses, the restaurant will initially offer charcuterie and cheeses, alongside wine, craft beer and cocktail selection.

Kino is the new restaurant from Opera North (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

The décor and the restaurant’s name, which means 'cinema' in many languages, is a nod to the building's former use.

Kino is part of Opera North's £18million redevelopment, which includes the transformation of its Howard Assembly Room gig space.

Opera North director Richard Mantle said: “It’s an idea that’s been long in the making.

"I always thought that we could benefit from having a good place to eat and drink, that’s not just associated with our performances.

The décor and the restaurant’s name, which means 'cinema' in many languages, is a nod to the building's former use (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

"It needed to have its own independence in the street.

“It was a big challenge in engineering, bringing together four individual shops that had to be combined together into one single unit. We even had to dig down into the ground below.

“I’m very proud and hugely relieved. We’ve got a great space and it looks beautiful."

Kino serves cheese from George and Joseph and charcuterie from Lishman’s of Ilkley, as well as craft beers from Northern Monk and Kirkstall Brewery.

North Star Coffee Roasters, Bluebird Bakery, Latitude Wines have also partnered with the restaurant .

There are plans to offer a full food menu from September, and Kino will invite local chefs to take over the kitchen for events across the summer.

First up is Leeds street food kitchen MorMor, which will serve its flavours from the Levant - a crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and North-East Africa.

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The MorMor supper club event will be held at Kino on Saturday July 23.

Diners can expect a menu of small plates and big sharing platters, such as lamb leg adana kebab, monk fish with chermoula, whipped feta and grilled baby gem and batata kezbara.

"In the long term, we’d like to run the place ourselves and bring in an executive chef team," Richard added.

"But the great thing about Leeds is the independent life of restaurants and bars. It’s like no other - fantastically vibrant. We wanted to join that scene.

"We know we have a fantastically loyal audience, so I think it's going to enhance the theatre-going and opera-going for this part of town."