Coffee giant Starbucks shuts popular Leeds branch

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A businessman has pledged to bring back the brews after Starbucks shut a popular Leeds branch.

Tony Hannan, who runs Rock Bar in Leeds city centre, said the Otley Road outlet in Headingley would reopen as a “high-end, boutique” coffee shop.

It comes after Starbucks moved out.

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Chris Dove, commercial property manager at Parklane letting agents, said there had been a disagreement over the lease.

He said: “In the current economic climate we are more than happy to negotiate on rent, but Starbucks wanted to go much further than was reasonable – they basically wanted to halve the rent.”

But a Starbucks spokeswoman said the firm decided to leave simply because the lease had run out.

She added: “Our store on Otley Road in Headingley is now closed due to an expired lease.

“We’ve worked closely with our employees and have been able to redeploy most of them to other Starbucks stores in the area.”

Headingley councillor Jamie Matthews said he had concerns about what would replace Starbucks.

He said: “It’s always sad to see any shop standing empty and I now worry about what will replace it because we do have a real problem with too many bars and takeaways in Headingley.

“I’m agnostic about what happens to Starbucks’ profit margins, but I do have concerns about who will take it over,”

But Mr Hannan, who runs Rock Bar on Call Lane, told the Yorkshire Evening Post his company had taken over the lease and planned to reopen the premises as a coffee shop.

The Headingley-born businessman said: “We were looking for somewhere we could open a coffee shop and we were lucky enough that Starbucks became available.

“Our ethos for that unit is to have a really high-end, boutique coffee shop. It will have exactly the same drinks menu as Starbucks and serve deli-style sandwiches.”

The shop will be called Macy’s and is due to open in January.