Three's A Crowd: Six-figure upgrade of 'culture gem' The Reliance as new Leeds gastropub set to to open

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A former Leeds gastropub has received a six-figure upgrade ahead of its reopening as a new restaurant.

The Reliance on North Street was purchased by a Yorkshire restauranteur last year and work has been ongoing to renovate the building before the reopening this month. The Reliance had been a popular spot in the city since its opening in 2000 but owners Joss Ainsworth and Becs Winlow announced they were stepping down from running the bar and restaurant last year.

The new owner, John Quinlan, who is also the owner and founder at Three’s A Crowd in Harrogate, said that the project “required a six-figure investment, with around £80k being spent on renovations”.

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Mr Quinlan said: “We’ve avoided structural changes to maintain the space in many ways as people remember it. Primarily we’ve ensured that improvements have been made – predominantly in places such as the back bar, renovating the toilets and the kitchen and also sprucing up the floors.”

John Quinlan outside The RelianceJohn Quinlan outside The Reliance
John Quinlan outside The Reliance

He said that diners can expect a “celebration of the old and new”, adding: “The Reliance is a historic venue and a Leeds institution, one which I have very fond memories of personally. We’re delighted to be able to say that the chef team is staying on and the new menu is totally controlled by our kitchen team, featuring both old favourites and newly designed dishes.”

On why he decided to expand to Leeds, he said: “I was born and bred in Leeds and have worked in hospitality all around the Yorkshire region. Leeds is, for me, a glorious hub of food and drink and a city that champions independent businesses. The Reliance was very much a testament to that heritage; it spearheaded many other independent gastropubs and outlets within the city.

“This food culture is very dear to me, but also lots of other people. That’s why we’re so excited about this next step - it’s not just about us, it’s about continuing the legacy of a cultural gem, and we’re more than up for the challenge!”

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Spread over two floors, the new Three’s A Crowd venue will seat up to 82 diners and will offer monthly events, tastings with locally sourced food and a bespoke, hand-picked wine list. To find out more about Three’s A Crowd, visit their website.