Leeds nightlife is changing and new cafe-bar Canal Club in Granary Wharf has got it right - YEP Opinion

Waterfront views, lush palm leaves and the sound of Ibiza classics pumping through the room - it was easy to forget it was five degrees and pelting it down outside.

By Abbey Maclure
Monday, 13th December 2021, 9:35 am

I was invited to the launch party for café-bar Canal Club earlier this week, which opened to the public on Friday after a £1m investment.

An all-day destination, the Granary Wharf spot is decked out with twinkling lights, kitsch furnishings and 'living walls' dripping with flowers.

I joined a glamorous crowd as the staff showed off all it had to offer. We tucked into nibbles and welcome prosecco, before glancing over the large drinks menu.

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I got a sneak peak at the new waterfront Leeds venue Canal Club - here's what I thought

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The bar offers all you would expect, plenty of spirits, wines and beer, as well as a selection of cocktails inspired by sunnier climates.

The signature menu includes the fruity 'pearfection', with Ketel One Citreon, apple liqeuer, pear puree, fresh lemon and elderflower syrups, and the Zacapa Rum Fashioned - Ron Zacapa 23 served with pineapple juice and chocolate bitters.

Taking inspiration from party hotspots such as Havana, LA and Miami, Canal Club is a slice of sunshine and an escape from the dismal Leeds weather that's going to be hard to escape this winter.

The bar offers plenty of spirits, wines and beer, as well as a selection of cocktails inspired by sunnier climates

The live DJs soundtracked the event with chilled house tunes, amping it up to sing-a-long Ibiza classics as the night went on, adding to that holiday feeling.

Canal Club is the latest addition to the city's thriving nightlife scene, but it's more than just a party hotspot.

Offering a selection of coffees, grab ‘n’ go breakfast options and sweet treats by day, as well as a lively bottomless brunch on weekends, it's tapping into a changing market.

'Day' has become the new 'night' - and we're after a lot more from our venues.

We're going out earlier (and going to bed earlier, which suits me just fine), expecting table service and good food with our drinks.

As the club's operations director, Jade Renner, said: "The pandemic gave us time to think about what it is that people are looking for when they socialise now.

"People still want to feel like they’re getting the music and atmosphere they might expect on an evening."

The look of the pink beetroot hummus toast is reason enough for me to return - and the evening menu also includes colourful sliders, salt and pepper squid and sweet potato crostini.

A morning coffee and warm pastry? Tick. Bottomless brunch with a crowd? Tick. An evening boogie to live DJs? Yep, that too.

They've covered all bases at Canal Club and it's a clever move. Launching a new venue in the throes of the pandemic was never going to be easy, but I have no doubt this new hotspot will be a hot hit.

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