Leeds nostalgia: Pioneer of Leeds bar scene in January 1980

11th January 1980''Len's Bar and Digby's.
11th January 1980''Len's Bar and Digby's.
Have your say

Len Cohen pictured at his bar in January 1980. Len was one of the pioneers of the Leeds wine bar scene. In the mid-1970s, he opened Len’s Bar and Digby’s on York Place – unlike pubs, they were not owned by the breweries, they offered table service and staff wore uniforms and crucially, they offered things like wine by the glass.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post in 2011, Len, who was by that time a grandfather, said: “I was 28 when I opened the Get Stuffed Dining Chambers on Park Cross Street, opposite the Town Hall, which itself caused a furore because of the name.

“I opened Len’s Bar in the mid-1970s and at that time we used to get a lot of office workers in, journalists and people from Yorkshire Television and they used to come in and have a drink at the bar. I’ve had people in there like Jenny Agutter and David Attenborough. It was incredibly popular, although it wasn’t the first in Leeds – there was a place called Parkers round the corner.

“I came to Leeds from Dublin as a student so I was from a beer-drinking town and wine wasn’t really my thing and back then.”