Local bar operators join forces to launch Leeds’ largest outdoor covered drinking area

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Seven local independent operators located on Merrion Street have joined forces and plan to install a 50m canopy over Merrion street to create the city’s largest outdoor drinking area. 

Manahatta, MOJO, Verve, Mean Eyed Cat, Roxy Ball Room, Yard & Coop and Liv Bar are taking part in the new venture, which will launch on 12 April in line with the Government Roadmap easing of restrictions for hospitality. 

Inspiration for the idea came from the hugely successful Merrion Street Festival in the summer of 2020, which saw bar and restaurant operators on the street collaborate for a weekend of live music, great food and drink. It’s been a long, challenging year for operators in the leisure and hospitality industry, and like many others, the Merrion Street bars and restaurants are eager to reopen and welcome back their customers. 

Lisa Morris, co-owner or Yard & Coop, said:  “Merrion street has some of the area’s best party bars and restaurants all now with plenty of outside seating and professional covering, making it one of the largest covered party areas in Leeds. Each venue will be showcasing their best drinks, food and good times. This is going to feel like being on holiday in the centre of Leeds – every weekend.” 

With a capacity to seat up to 200 people, the street will be covered entirely with a 50m canopy with each venue offering a selection of their signature dishes, drinks, and unique cocktails. 

Martin Wolstencroft from Arc Inspiration said: “Manahatta is delighted to work with the other bars on Merrion Street to create a unique, fantastic destination for all our customers to come together and celebrate the reopening of the superb hospitality Leeds is famous for”.

The Merrion Street collaboration will launch on 12 April and run up until 17 May, when the hospitality industry will resume normal trade as venues are allowed to open their doors to the public. From 12 April, operators will trade from Wednesday through to Sunday, and if a success, they plan to make this a regular event and continue the concept during the winter months. 

Customers are encouraged to book in advance; however, walk-ups will also be welcome.

Martin Greenhow, MD of MOJOS, added: “Everyone on Merrion Street is immensely excited to welcome back all our old friends and guests and finally offer some much-needed relief from the house arrest we’ve all had to endure. At last, someone else will make you a drink and take care of the cooking!”

For further information on opening times, menus and bookings, please visit www.merrionstreetfestival.co.uk