It’s time to turn our attention away from the Northern Quarter as The Alchemist opens new doors to a rejuvenated Greek Street.
Before the summer, ask any student what their favourite bar on Greek Street was and you’re most likely to have been met with a blank look. On the outskirts of the Trinity centre and covered in scaffolding, a few months ago it was easy to walk past Greek street without a second glance. Despite the heralded Wagamamas on the corner, the street was more of a Greek tragedy than somewhere to consider for a classy night of cocktails.
But since then, the area has exploded onto the scene, with a vibrant variety of restaurants and bars staking their claim. Everyone’s favourite The Alchemist is the most recent of places to flood some light back onto the street, bringing their signature dishes and drinks with them to their sleek new site. Staying with the theme of the science of cocktails is recently opened The Liquorist, filling the hole of past occupants The Living Room. With live music on a Sunday and Thursday, it has a more relaxed feel than some of its contenders, but that doesn’t mean they lack expertise or atmosphere. Even more exciting is secret bar 7, hidden directly under The Liquorist and only to be entered through a phone box… I’ll spare the details on that one and let you discover it for yourselves.
A slightly earlier addition to the street is Bem Brasil, who have been sizzling for just over a year. Their authentic Brazilian menu, cooked in front of you on a flame charcoal grill, provides a feast for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike. Although restaurant buffets are often tarnished with a bad name and cold, processed food, Bem Brasil pride themselves on knowledge of quality, succulent dishes that will get you going up for a second helping. If you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated, just opposite is another special from Living Ventures, the powerhouse behind The Alchemist, who have added a touch of class with Italian restaurant Gusto. Although a pricier splurge for a student budget, their extensive cocktail menu with over 100 combinations isn’t to be overlooked.
Rounding off Greek Street’s new all-star line up is popular bar chain All Bar One, offering cocktail master classes with expert mixologists and pomegranate daiquiris for a reasonable £4.95 midweek. A little further up is everyone’s favourite fiesta La Tasca, with authentic Spanish tapas to take the chill from these long winter evenings and ease the pulling of the purse strings with their good value deals.
So next time you’re fighting to get a drink at an over crowded bar on Merrion Street, try heading across town for a piece of civilised luxury on Greek Street, before the rest of Leeds catches on to what it has to offer.
Image: The Yorkshire Post.