Pub to open inside Leeds Kirkgate Market for the first time in its 150 year history

Great beer and good food will be on the menu when a new gastro pub opens inside Leeds Kirkgate Market this autumn.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 4:07 pm
Russell Bisset, founder of Northern Monk, with Liz Cottam, co-founder of HOME and The Owl. PIC: Ben Bentley

The Owl will be located on Fish & Game Row in the oldest part of the ornate market building which dates back to 1875.

It represents a first in the 150-year-old history of Europe’s biggest covered market - a pub inside the market’s walls.

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Russell Bisset, founder of Northern Monk, with Liz Cottam, co-founder of HOME and The Owl. PIC: Ben Bentley

Northern Monk will be stocking the beer lines for The Owl - a 44-seater taproom and dining room, masterminded by HOME fine dining stars Liz Cottam and Mark Owens.

“Wisdom” will be the house pour - a new beer brewed especially by Northern Monk for The Owl.

“Wisdom” is a fiver per cent Pale Ale, with a flavour profile based around the fragrant herb, lemon verbena. Developed in conjunction with Liz, this results in a brew that is food-friendly, delicious and super-refreshing.

Wisdom will sit alongside five other beer lines, which will be complemented, rather unusually, by a number of fine wines - available on tap.

The Owl will bring a completely new and vibrant feel to Fish & Game Row, as punters come down to enjoy food and drink as well as get their weekly shopping done in this historic Leeds institution.

The Northern Monk beers will go perfectly with The Owl’s food menu, which will revolve around simply but expertly-cooked whole roast fish and game, prepared by Liz and her Michelin star-winning co-head chef, Mark Owens.

Liz pairs all of the dishes with wines at her fine dining restaurant HOME - and she will offer special beer pairings at The Owl, using the wide variety of extraordinary Northern Monk brews on offer.

Inspired by the time she spent living in Barcelona (the home of Estrella Damm, Liz’s sponsor, which will also be stocked behind the bar), Liz has created a grill-based, beer-friendly snack menu too, to complement the main dining room menu - think wild boar and bone marrow sausages served on toasted brioche buns, with melted cheese and house pickles.

Russell Bisset, founder of Northern Monk, said: “At Northern Monk, we’re determined to create some of the best beer experiences in the world. That ambition has been our driving force since we were based in a cellar, back in 2013. A lot has changed for the brewery - but that same drive remains.

When we were approached by Liz and the team at HOME, and presented with the chance of working with a team with the same ambitions for food experiences, it was something we jumped at. Pair that with delivering those food and beer experiences in the largest covered market in Europe - a building steeped in local history and heritage and one of the North’s great treasures - and we knew we were on to something special.”

Liz Cottam, co-founder of HOME and The Owl: “I love working with Northern Monk; my team and theirs share a genuine commitment to doing things right, and we all love creating cool stuff.

"I’ve always been drawn to owning a pub (having grown up in them), but wanted to do it differently. The opportunity at Kirkgate Market, together with the NM collaboration, just makes so much sense to me. I know people want to support the market and local businesses, and I hope that more businesses will follow us into this great space.”

The Owl is the first of four market venues Liz and Mark plan to open over the next few months.