Grindhouse - First movie-themed bar opens in Leeds city centre

The first movie-themed bar in Leeds has opened in the city centre following a film-like journey through lockdown.
Grindhouse Bar.Grindhouse Bar.
Grindhouse Bar.

The walls of Grindhouse Bar on Upper Briggate are adorned with movie posters - mainstream, arthouse, and of course grindhouse. The table lamps light up original film cells, there is a large screen showing films on a loop and film soundtracks - popular and less known – play all day.

Work started on the bar in February 2020 and it was due to open in May when lockdown hit. The team continued working on the build and the idea to ensure they could be up and running when restrictions were lifted but everything went on hold until now.

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Dave Holmes and Paul Handley.Dave Holmes and Paul Handley.
Dave Holmes and Paul Handley.
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It is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Dave Holmes and Paul Handley

Co-owner Paul Handley said: “The hospitality industry has taken several hits over the last 14 months, and we were no exception. It’s been a really difficult, wonderful, challenging, exciting time full of setbacks which slowed us down considerably, even out of lockdown it has affected the build because materials were harder to come by – but we’ve done it and we can’t wait to get started properly.”

Dave said: “The plan for Grindhouse was born of a conversation over a few beers. I wanted to get another business going and Paul was looking for new opportunities so when the site on Briggate became available, we jumped in.”

“We didn’t settle on the film idea to be the first of its kind, it was just something we both wanted to do. We both love film – Paul’s a John Carpenter fan and I love the Zombie genre - it just made sense for us to do it!”

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He added: “We shortlisted a few film-themed names, but Grindhouse was an instant favourite; the history of Grindhouse films and theatres, and the general coffee connection – it feels right.”

Food will be served from 9am until 5pm with take-out available. Customers can expect a good selection of meat, vegetarian, and vegan offers, North Star coffees, and a range of teas alongside beers, wines, and cocktails.

The pair intend to use regional produce as much they can currently have relationships with Leeds Markets, North Star Coffee, Northern Monk, and Leeds-based Glazed and Confused Donuts.

But perhaps the Oscar winning performance comes in the evening when the only food served will be Frito Pie.

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“Frito Pie is something I had in Austin Texas and it blew my mind,” said Paul. “It’s just a packet of crisps (‘Fritos’ in Texas), sliced open, add a big dollop of homemade chilli, chopped onions, cheese, and jalapeños – mix it all up and you’re good to go.”

Grindhouse will join a host of independents on Upper Briggate standing proudly between Wax Bar with Sela below it, and North Bar - all popular on the Leeds indie scene.

“The Northern Quarter is a great area of the City,” said Paul. “It’s packed with independents and has a great vibe. We’re delighted to take our spot in the Northern Quarter alongside other Leeds greats.”


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