Central Leeds: Epernay bar finds its fizz once again

BACK TO BASICS: Epernay cuts the cocktails to do what it does best.
BACK TO BASICS: Epernay cuts the cocktails to do what it does best.
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Leeds’ first ever dedicated champagne bar is going back to basics - 12 years after it first opened.

Epernay, tucked cosily away inside The Electric Press, will be announcing its re-launch tonight, but City Buzz has already had a taste of what the city’s champagne lovers can expect.

The bar has been taken over by new owners and a new French trained general manager, John Grasty, who has literally re-written the drinks offering.

Gone are the standard cocktails, putting the fizz firmly back into Epernay.

He said: “The old drinks menu was very condensed and hard to read and had become cocktails focussed like many other bars

“When we took over we wanted to refresh it and for people, when they are spending a lot of money on champagne, to feel like they are having an exclusive experience.”

That is why it will be table service rather than having to queue at the bar and a champagne list that tops the £500 a bottle mark.

That will be for the 1990 vintage Dom Perignon.

But if you don’t want to re-mortgage for a night out, try the tasting menu - also perfect for new champagne converts a bit baffled by the bubbles on offer.

There are three tasting flights with champagnes from the house of Montaudon, Moet and Chandon, incorporating Dom Perignon and Maison Veuve Clicquot at £40 or £50 for five larger than average glasses.

John added: “When I took over I spent a lot of time in America to see what is going on as New York then London follow the trends.

“I love the art and it is about passing that onto the staff here as well - it is not just about the champagne.”