First look: Old Leeds shipment warehouse transformed into eaterie

Water Lane boathouse.
Water Lane boathouse.
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An old shipment warehouse has been transformed into a new food and drink destination for Leeds revellers.

Water Lane Boathouse is the latest addition to the team behind Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House’s roster and it will feature food from Small Victories Sourdough Pizza and Bakery, as well as a selection of beer, natural wine and gin.

Built in the early 1800s, Water Lane Boathouse will occupy a former shipment warehouse that later turned into a granary up until the early 20th Century.

Located on Canal Wharf on the South side of the Leeds-to-Liverpool canal, the boathouse is central to Leeds and was once the canal entrance into the vibrant city centre.

After several transformations, the boathouse was home to a series of restaurants throughout the 90s, such as Heathcotes and Racasse, which was run for the majority of it’s time by Simon Gueller (now Box Tree, Ilkley).

Now under the ownership of the team behind Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow house, Water Lane Boathouse has been transformed into a food and drink destination; covering two floors and an outdoor area, both with incredible views of the canal, the new venue feature’s a custom-made pizza oven shipped in from Italy and hand-crafted by Stefano Ferrara in Napoli; renowned for making some of the best pizza ovens in the world.

This pizza oven is the home of Small Victories Sourdough Pizza and Bakery, who’ll are now serving up sandwiches and salads on the top floor, that will be available to eat at the restaurant or take-out at lunchtime. On the ground floor, the bar is stocked up with everything from craft beer to old favourites, as well as a selection of natural wines and gin.

The project sees the operators of Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House, Ash Kollakowski, Simon Stevens and development chef Ben Davy produce another unique venue for Leeds.

“I fell in love with the boathouse building when I first came to Leeds in the late eighties, it’s an absolute dream to be able to do something with this historic spot, I really hope people like what we have done, we’ve managed to expose every piece of original brickwork and it looks great” Ash Kollakowski

“It’s been great working with such an historic building in such an exciting area of the city.

The South Bank development looks pretty incredible and it will be interesting to see what changes it brings to the area” Simon Stevens