The Eldon pub in Leeds appoints 23-year-old landlord committed to making it a diverse and safe space
At 23, Arjun Flora is the same age as some of the students who frequent his pub.
For Mr Flora is the new landlord of The Eldon, which is opposite Leeds University on Woodhouse Lane.
The Sikh, who is from Leeds, has been working in the hospitality industry for the past two years.
“It all started at a pub quiz with my partner,” he explained, “I got to know the people working there quite well and then the workers in pubs nearby.”
Building on his knowledge and relationships with other bar workers, he was later recommended for the role by the previous Eldon landlord. “I did a week’s worth of shifts and ended up loving it,” he said.
Students are also hopeful for what it could do for the community.
Regular, Lottie Chambers, 21, student at Mills School of Performance, said: “I feel like the combination of his age and faith could provide a really cool atmosphere.”
She said that having an Indian landlord could provide a safe space for students from many different backgrounds.
Mr Flora said he is aware the role will come with challenges, but he wants to use his presence to encourage diversity.
“I want to flip the script on what it means to be a landlord,” he said.
“I know I don’t exactly fit the vibe of your average pub, but times are changing.”
He aims for the Eldon to be a zero-tolerance space for hate and wants it to be a safe space for all.
Mr Flora added: “I want you to feel like you can be yourself, no matter what that is, regardless of sexual identity, gender identity, race, anything.
“I know my age may put people off, but I’ve got experience and I wouldn’t be recommended by someone who has over 10 years’ experience if I wasn’t capable.”
Customer Premjit Panesar, 22, said having an Indian landlord would provide more diversity “whilst also opening doors of opportunity for more people from the community to follow suit”.
He believes this representation will encourage others to further diversify their businesses and form a safe space for individuals.
“A zero tolerance space for me means that I know I have somewhere I can go to without the fear of being judged,” he said.