Rooftop bar to open as part of new plant-based restaurant in Leeds

Will Habergham PJ Gardner The Green Room Leeds

A rooftop bar specialising in cocktails is set to open in Leeds this summer as part of a new plant-based restaurant, The Green Room, committed to sustainability.

The new venture has been created by Will Habergham and Pj Gardner (pictured top outside the site), who have backgrounds in clubs, events, music and festivals.

Since November, they have been renovating  a site, previously a gentlemen’s club, in Wellington Street, next to the Majestic building – a former cinema and nightclub that is the new headquarters of Channel 4.

They hope to have the bar and restaurant open in early summer 2021, with prime minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of Covid restrictions seeing socially distanced indoor hospitality in England resuming no earlier than 17 May and outdoor drinking and dining no earlier than 12 April.

With the full name “The Green Room Canteen and Cocktails”, drinks are expected to be important although no details have been released yet. However, they are set to be in line with the approach to food which will be “interesting and tasty plant-based dishes that will appeal to all taste buds and will utilise ingredients sourced both locally and ethically”.

“We want to be pioneers in the plant food business and The Green Room will be at the forefront of changing people’s perception about what plant-based food is,” Pj said. “It’s not just about salads and pulses: the menu will be a mix of Asian-inspired healthy bowls, but for those food junkies there will be a selection of tasty vegan burgers, pizzas and even vegan dirty fries.

“More recently, people’s attitude and perception to vegan food is changing. We wanted to go out on a limb, make our mark and not just offer a standard bar menu with two or three veggies and vegan choices.

“We wanted to bring our vision to life and create a space that is in line with our beliefs and core values and create an environment focusing on wellbeing and sustainability while still enjoying all the benefits of nightlife.”

The rooftop terrace will cover over 140 square metres (1,500 square feet), with a south-facing view, which will be well suited to continuing Covid restrictions.

Will said: “The rooftop terrace is our USP and, due to Covid, outdoor spaces are vitally more important. The terrace’s size not only allows people to sit comfortably in an outdoor space but also allows to put any future social distance measures in place.

“By day the terrace will make the perfect setting for people who need a relaxed environment to work from, brunches, lunches, and by night the perfect setting for after-work cocktails and sunset music-led events.

“In the winter months, we plan to utilise the space for pop-up markets or similar outdoor events that have become so much more important over the last year. We are so excited to bring our vision to life and create a unique and creative space where customers can enjoy the bar and restaurant and utilise the space to work from, or simply socialise.”

About £3million is being invested into renovating the site in a project led by developer All Property Management (APM) which has been behind several schemes in the region including The Bells luxury serviced apartments and Briggate Boutique hotel in Leeds and Carr Hall Castle near Halifax.

As well as enhancing some of the building’s original features, charm and character, the developer plans to incorporate lots of greenery into the décor plus an eclectic blend of industrial fittings and reclaimed furniture, complemented by “warm” soft furnishings.

Phase one saw over 70 metric tons of waste removed and recycled from the site in line with The Green Room’s sustainability ethos. “Our aim is not to send any waste to landfills and always recycle,” Pj said. “Although the site has been completely gutted and renovated, we have tried to keep as many of the building’s original features, such as the original flooring, and used décor and fittings from other reclaimed or recycled sources where possible.”

Continuing lockdowns and restrictions have been a challenge, causing “some uncertain moments” but Will said they remained positive. “We weren’t overly worried in the first lockdown as we were still in the planning and building phases so, if anything, it gave us the time to channel all our energy into the project. However, by the second and now third lockdown, there were uncertain moments when we thought, have we done the right thing? However, since Boris’s announcement, we are confident that we are back on track and ready to open once the world turns back to normal.”

The Green Room, 36 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 6DE
Instagram: @greenroom_

The Green Room site, with scaffolding, in Wellington Street in Leeds, with the Majestic building two doors down on the right

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