There’s a new cocktail bar in Leeds as Thewlis Cocktail Lounge opens up on Park Row.
Blending old and new, Thewlis Cocktail lounge on Park Row is a great new addition to the city. Situated just next door to sister venue The Decanter, this is an entirely new concept focussed on brilliant champagnes and even better cocktails in a luxurious environment that’s all about having fun.
The name, Thewlis, stems from one of the stand out features of the bar that you’ll encounter before you even step inside. The frieze on the front of the building, also known as Kenneth Hodgson House, is designed by Joseph Thewlis & Co. It details in stunning fashion the Goddess of Minerva surrounded by figures that show off the global connections of its original occupiers, West Riding Union Bank.
It’s so iconic that they decided to name the bar after him, a fitting tribute, and it’s something that Co-owner Alex Temprell is particularly proud of, “The architecture – in particular the frieze – blows you away. As this is the first impression our customers receive of the bar we thought it only fitting that Joseph Thewlis’ name sits alongside it. With the building having such great historical importance to the city, sitting on one of the oldest street in Leeds, Park Row, we felt it was important to have its story within our branding.”
Once you’ve managed to peel your eyes away from the outside, the interior should impress too. You’ll also see large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, while the rest of the venue has a black and gold theme, giving it a decadent feel, with large booths covering the length of the venue – they can be booked in advance with table service for the evening. But it’s not exclusive, they’ve made an effort to make it fun yet refined, with an upbeat playlist of funk, soul, jazz, Motown and indie selected by Jumbo Records’ Matt Bradshaw.
The inspiration for Thewlis isn’t just the old Leeds architect, however, and Co-owner Allison Temprell told us that you can expect touches inspired by two of the world’s greatest cities, “We absolutely love visiting cocktail bars in London and New York, we feel they do cocktail bars very well and we wanted somewhere like that for people to enjoy in our city, so we came up with the Thewlis concept. Somewhere to go for amazing cocktails, that isn’t a restaurant, so you can enjoy the ambience of the bar environment. Our layout is very similar to the bars of NYC, long and narrow with lot of comfortable booth seating and the library style back bar, all styled with a touch of class.”
So after you’ve been impressed by how it looks, what can you look forward to behind the bar? We got it straight from the horse’s mouth. “We purely sell drinks, no food, with a huge focus on premium cocktails and an extensive list of spirits,” Allison told us. “We have over 40 cocktails, which we hope will please everyones taste buds. From sour to sweet and strong to fruity, some even come with their own bit of theatre, expect smoke and fire!”
The cocktail menu will offer up the chance to try something new. Thewlis’ expert mixologists have come up with over original 30 cocktails that you can’t get anywhere else – they’re the result of hours of research and experimentation to get the perfect balance, and sit alongside 10 absolute classics. But don’t expect the menu to stay the same, they’re an independent, which means they have complete control over the menu, and they plan to make the most of that fact. So over the coming weeks and months, you can look forward to even more new and delicious cocktails.
Allison is in no doubt as to what you should look out for when you pay Thewlis a visit either, “One of my favourite cocktails is The Palma Violet, which tastes exactly like the sweets (you even get a packet of Palma Violets on the side!), another personal favourite is the Thewlis by Joseph, named after the stonemason that crafted the beautiful artwork on the front of our building! We also have a bottle of Hudson Maple Cask Rye which is the only bottle in the North of England (and only one of six bottles in the UK).”
Alongside the cocktails, you can choose from a selection of luxurious champagnes, with eight different choices, including Bollinger, Dom Perignon and Cristal, as well as a range of 300 premium spirits. The latter can be bought by the bottle (think pay day weekend) then stored in your own private booze cabinet in the bar. Every time you visit, just give the bartender your key and they’ll scale the floor to ceiling ladder to get your bottle from your locked cabinet. There’s nothing quite like that anywhere else in Leeds.
It’s not the only thing, however, that sets Thewlis apart from the rest of the Leeds pack. “We would like to think we are offering something completely different from the rest of the bars in Leeds and adding another dimension to the nightlife scene,” Allison explained. “We are perfect for after work drinks, or to book for a celebration. Our cocktails are the main reason to visit us, we have created a menu that can not be found anywhere else, we use only quality premium spirits, and create every one from scratch right in front of you.”
Next time you’re down on Park Row, why not pay them a visit to see what new cocktails you can discover? You won’t be short of choice and Thewlis Cocktail Lounge has all the hallmarks of being a new Leeds favourite.
Thewlis Cocktail Lounge, 18 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JA.