Wind the clock back five years or so, and if you were going out in Leeds, the chances are you would have been heading to Greek Street.
With cool bars, a popular Indian restaurant and not a lot of competition, it really was one of the places to be.
Over the last few years though, the area has become less of a top night spot and more of a Greek tragedy.
An incredible 2013 saw Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds open and along with it, the rise of Merrion Street and Trinity’s up-market cocktail bars.
Suddenly, the focus shifted elsewhere and Greek Street was well and truly left in the lurch.
OK Karaoke, Henry’s and Sam’s Chophouse closed and the company behind Prohibition went into administration and was also forced to shut its doors.
For those of us with fond memories of the area it’s been sad to see it suffer, so it’s with great pleasure that City Buzz brings some good news to our fellow former Greek Streeters.
In fact there’s so much is going on there that this week, we’ve decided to devote this one-off special to all of the area’s upcoming arrivals.
For starters, you may already know the street is getting a new five-star boutique hotel, but it’s also about to welcome a bar and two brand new restaurants (see the accompanying City Buzz stories on these pages).
On top of that, there will be a £20m rejuvenation of the area, but let’s start with the hotel, shall we?
If you’ve walked down the street recently you’ll notice the former stacker car park has gone along with the much-loved Akbar’s restaurant.
The demolition work has now come to an end and soon the building work for the 10-storey, 90-bed luxury Dakota hotel will be getting underway.
The hotel will include a basement restaurant with a ground floor bar.
Also as part of their £20m investment, the Evans Property Group will be transforming the outside space around the Bond Court area, creating a direct link between Russell Street and Greek Street.
They have also revamped the nearby Minerva and Capitol buildings to create 50,000sq ft of prime office space.
Speaking about the projects, Alan Syers, portfolio director said: “The demolition of the car park is the first step in bringing this [...] redundant site back to life.
“The hotel will continue our investment into this critical quarter of Leeds city centre and contribute to the vibrancy of Greek Street.”
With all the new investment and exciting plans in the pipeline, it’s no wonder that buildings around here are becoming hot property.
Expert James Fox, associate director at property specialist CBRE, told City Buzz that nowadays, if businesses can’t snap up a site on Trinity Leeds’ doorstep, the next place they’re turning to is Greek Street.
“Part of Greek Street’s resurgence is down to the fact there’s not a lot of viable space in the city centre because everybody wants to be near Trinity Leeds,” he said.
The past few years have been a rollercoaster ride for Greek Street but these green shoots of recovery are promising.
The street seems to slowly be getting a high-end makeover, attracting quality names, and will soon be the perfect place for a posh night out. Let’s just hope this once buzzing part of the city centre can bounce back once again.