After-hours pub for Leeds city centre bar workers

VENTURE: A new project for Vice boss Luke Downing with hospitality staff in mind.
VENTURE: A new project for Vice boss Luke Downing with hospitality staff in mind.
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A pub for bar staff is set to be opened up in the city centre later this year.

The owner of Vice and Virtue and winner of three categories at this year’s Yorkshire Evening Post Oliver Awards, Luke Downing, says he is making a departure “from anything we have done before” with the venture which will be based below the fine-dining restaurant.

He and partner Laura MacLeod, have taken on the lease for the unit, which used to be an Indian takeaway, and will start a pub that is very ale-orientated and does small plates of street food with a twist on pub classics of old.

His main aim is to open late and serve food, junk 
and healthy, past the usual cut off serving time of 9pm 
so that staff in the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry have somewhere to socialise themselves after shifts.

He said: “We want to look after the industry because we feel there are not many places for them to go.

“There are not many places doing good food after 9pm and this will be open until 1am.

“There are some dirty things on the menu but healthy and balanced stuff too, brain food, so we are being more considerate of people’s well-being in the industry.”

The couple have taken inspiration from Bundobust and The Belgrave for the 
vibe they are looking to 
create, with relaxed seating and snacks like wild boar Scotch eggs.

Downing added: “It will be a modern-style pub, not a bar, and nothing we have ever done before. There is no genre, we are just doing things a little bit differently.”