Historic Leeds building becomes bar and record shop

A former cloth merchant's house in one of Leeds's oldest streets has reopened after being given a funding boost.

Monday, 25th September 2017, 8:33 am
Jacob Kelly pictured in Paula's Vinyl store above the cafe. Picture by Simon Hulme

The building at 93 Kirkgate is now open as The Doghouse cafe and bar, with Paula’s Vinyl record shop above it.

It comes after developers were given a £110,000 grant to support repair work at the city centre building, through the Kirkgate Townscape Heritage Initiative. The project has brought all three floors of the previously vacant building and its basement back into use.

Jacob Kelly, who owns the building with business partner Stuart Dixon, said they had tried to keep its historical identity in tact where possible.

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Doghouse Cafe, Kirkgate, Leeds.

He said: “We know that the street [Kirkgate] is known for being a really cool and independent street for industry. We have kept as much of the original building on show as possible.”

Work has included repointing in lime mortar, re-roofing with blue slate, new timber sash windows and the reinstatement of a traditional shopfront.

Dad-of-one Mr Kelly, 42, added: “Without the grant we wouldn’t have been able to fund the work that needed to be done.”

Originally a cloth merchant’s house, the building was also used as a leather dealer in 1839 and hosiers in 1870.

Doghouse Cafe, Kirkgate, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Leeds City Council, the Townscape Heritage Initiative aims to protect and restore the historic character of buildings in the lower Kirkgate area.

The project at 93 Kirkgate follows the successful opening of Wapentake, a traditional Yorkshire cafe, next door at 92 Kirkgate, which also received a grant as part of the scheme.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “It’s inspiring to see this historic building brought back into use and to join the growing number of sites in the area which have been given a new start thanks to this project.”

Doghouse Cafe, Kirkgate, Leeds.
Doghouse Cafe, Kirkgate, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme