Beloved Leeds restaurant and bar The New Conservatory reopening on April 12 with new terrace bar
The New Conservatory has had an outdoor makeover, a menu revamp, and is ready to welcome customers back for the first time in months.
The New Conservatory restaurant and bar is set to reopen as soon as restrictions allow on 12 April, with a new terrace bar and updated menu.
Owner of The New Conservatory, Nick Bird, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Lockdown has been challenging.
“As a family owned independent business, it has been a struggle to survive the several lockdowns but it's looking like we’ve succeeded as we’re geared up to reopen on the 12th.”
He said they have put as much effort as possible into upgrading things, refurbishing, and making things better for when customers return.
Explaining the difficulty of being based in the basement and being limited to outdoor catering only due to restrictions, Mr Bird said: “We’ve revamped the outside service bar so that we can operate it more efficiently and offer more products outside.”
For the outside expansion the restaurant will boast 25 parasols in case of rain and a total of 57 tables outside, which will seat up to 200 people at a safe social distance. The owner said: “We just did our final planning yesterday and measured it all out just to double check.”
The restaurant has also redesigned the menu to become more al fresco friendly, which includes a selection of homemade artisan pizza and homemade burgers.
“When you're sitting outside and having a few drinks, you want something that you can easily eat without maybe a knife and fork.”
Like many businesses over the past year, The New Conservatory has had to adapt reactively to covid-19 restrictions. Mr Bird had obtained permission from the council to expand outdoor seating before reopening last July, in preparation for outdoor service becoming more popular and at times, customers’ only option.
“I asked them if we could get permission to go a little bit further down the street and put out some more furniture as it was in front of a vacant retail unit and no-one was using the space. It just meant buying several more tables.” he said.
The bar and restaurant have retained all of their full time staff on furlough throughout the pandemic, who are returning to join them from the 12th and have just recruited around 10-15 more staff members.
Mr Bird expressed: “We’ve got our fingers crossed that we can match the trade as before and retain the positions.”
“The new bar outside is a new fixture in replacement of the temporary bar we had last summer. Because we’ve had a little bit more time, it's now a little bit bigger, a bit more exciting and it's a permanent fixture.
“We’ll be dispensing cocktails from the outside bar from the minute we open on the 12th.”
The New Conservatory say they will be focusing on giving a more continental feel and say they won't be taking bookings. They also hope to organise some live music and sports events outside as more restrictions are lifted.