Pub chiefs serving up new era at landmark Leeds building

The Griffin Hotel, pictured in 1947.
The Griffin Hotel, pictured in 1947.
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Drinkers could soon be toasting a new era for a landmark building in Leeds city centre.

Plans have been submitted for the transformation of the former Bar Censsa on Boar Lane into a classy Victorian-style pub.

Closed for a number of years, Bar Censsa was situated below the old Griffin Hotel, which has itself been shut since 1999.

The hotel opened in the 1870s and in 1904 played host to the meeting that led to the formation of Leeds City FC, the forerunners of Leeds United.

An application for planning permission for work on the ground floor of the Grade II listed building has been lodged with Leeds City Council by the Spirit Pub Company.

A supporting statement made to the council by the firm says it wants to give the new pub a traditional feel in keeping with the proud past of the building as a whole.

It adds that Spirit specialises in breathing fresh life into historic premises, citing its Audley pub in Mayfair as one of London’s best examples of a Victorian hostelry.

Another statement concentrating on access and design issues says: “The site is currently closed to trade and has had little work carried out since its last refurbishment in circa 2000.

“The proposed development seeks to enhance the appearance and improve the local amenities for both the community and visitors.”

It also says that, subject to approval, the development will get under way immediately. The Griffin stood on the site of a coaching inn of the same name whose past could be traced all the way back to the 17th century.

It was rebuilt as a so-called ‘railway hotel’ to serve Leeds New Station, which opened in 1869.

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