Thinking out of the box for revamp of Leeds based bar brand

As one city centre brand opens in the suburbs, one of the main haunts in Headingley is launching in Leeds.

The Box is set to open in Goodbard House on Infirmary Street on September 14 and the boss of the brand behind it, Leeds based Arc Inspirations, has given City Buzz a flavour of what’s in store.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Leeds will be getting its first first ever Czech beer tank with Budvar on tap, it will be one of the first bars to do cocktails on tap starting with pornstar and espresso martinis, is the first place in Leeds to have a pizza oven with a revolving deck and will have a21 feet shuffle board and dartboard and two private party rooms, The Vault and the Strong Room.

Shuffle Board at The Box

Arc Inspirations has put £1.4m into the new venture, creating 60 jobs and is hoping to roll The Box out to other UK cities.

Martin Wolstencroft said: “It is a very exciting new concept for The Box. It won’t be the same as Headingley and will feel and look totally different. We have spent a lot with design consultants to evolve The Box as a brand for the Leeds City Centre market and moved it on to become a brand we would be proud to roll out.

"We beat off a lot of competition from national operators to take the building. It is a beautiful building and has been vacant for some time. We are very pleased to be bringing it back to life and something to that area."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While the brand will be refreshed the mantra is the same - "a favourite go to bar to play and party."

That is what the original The Box brought with its opening in 2001, a year after The Arc, both in Headingley.

At the time city centre nightlife was not flourishing so Arc Inspirations created it in the suburbs.

Mr Wolstencroft said: "Twenty years ago not many people used to eat and drink out in Leeds, there weren't many places to go. We opened that and The Arc as a young professionals student brand. A lot of people in the suburbs wanted a local bar they could go to for cocktails and food on their doorstep."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, the growth of the scene in Leeds has encouraged the firm to follow suit.

Mr Wolstencroft said: “When we opened our mantra was to give a city centre experience on the door step.“Ten years ago city living was less than a thousand people, now it is 20,000 to 30,000. It is very exciting and that keeps driving us on.”

Arc Inspirations has Kith and Kin and The Pit in Chapel Allerton and three years ago opened Manahatta on Merrion Street then Greek Street. It also has seven Banyan sites. A Manahatta will open in Deansgate and Banyan in Spinningfields later this year. Arc Inspirations currently employs 800 people and over the last 20 years will have employed in the region of 20,000 people.

Related topics: