Neighbourhood has quite the reputation. In fact, rumours of their star-studded parties had made their way over the Pennines long before they procured the old Carluccio’s unit on Greek Street…
It’s the latest New York inspired eatery to open in Leeds, but Neighbourhood is much more than just a restaurant. By day, it’s a lively place to grab a bite, where the music is just that little bit louder and the atmosphere is just that little bit livelier – and as the hours pass by, it transforms into a real party destination. We’re talking DJs, live sax and drums, flash mobs, fire breathers and more. Piqued your interest? Read on…
First and foremost, Neighbourhood is a restaurant – and they’ve created a space that you’ll want to hang around in. By day, it’s bright and airy, with floor to ceiling windows that let in the light. But that’s not what will get your attention. From the living wall to the neon lights, they’ve really gone to town on the design.
“Our venue is edgy, it’s bold. You’re literally lost in New York, it’s got all the opulence of Manhattan, with the edginess of Brooklyn,” Ashley Williams, Brand Director of East Coast Concepts, the group behind Neighbourhood and their sister brand Victor’s, told us. “We flew in a famous New York street artist called Triston Eaton to commission wall art in all of our venues. He was in Liverpool 12 weeks ago doing the wall art, and he had a call from Showtime, so HBO in Vegas organising the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight, and they commissioned him to do the official artwork. He is big time, he is huge, and he’s really brought the venue to life.”
It’s the perfect environment to enjoy a bite to eat, and they’ve turned it into a very social experience. They don’t have a traditional menu filled with starters and mains, instead, they’ve created a diverse array of dishes that you can dip in and out of. They bring the food to the table as and when it’s ready, they recommend three to four small plates per person, and you all just dig in, trying a bit of this and a bit of that.
New York has a little bit of everything – American, Italian, Asian – so that’s exactly what you’ll find here. They’ve got fillet steaks, chicken lollipops, even Korean BBQ lamb, but one of the highlights has to be the sushi. “When you have fresh, raw sushi, it’s an incredible culinary experience – and we have it all. So we have a range of fish sushi rolls, from seabass to black cod, salmon and prawn, then we have tempura, which is battered, and seared beef,” Williams explained.
There are two exceptions to their ‘sharing’ concept. The first is their Sunday roast (ain’t no one stealing my roasties) and the second is their Bottomless Brunch which launches on 4th November 2017 – choose any dish from their brunch menu and get unlimited seasonal cocktails, Bloody Mary’s, prosecco and soft drinks for £30.
Neighbourhood isn’t the kind of the place you just go to for dinner. They’ve set it up so dinner turns naturally into drinks, and drinks turn naturally into dancing. You can book their booths for the evening, with a minimum spend per person and table service all night, or go for one of their packages, which feel incredibly extravagant, but work really well for those big blow-out nights.
And when we say they feel extravagant, we mean prices start at £500 and go all the way up to £5,000 – for the latter, your table will be absolutely loaded with booze. You’ll get four concept cocktails, as well as a shedload of spirits, with your choice of mixers – we’re talking Cafe Patron XO, Jäger and Ron Zacapa 23, as well as a 6-litre bottle of Belvedere Vodka. And the cherry on the top? Six Dom Perignon Magnums with their Ultimate Procession, which comes with fountains, fireworks and a musical encore. So yeah, all singing, all dancing, all the booze.
Of course, you don’t have to book a booth, you can just come for drinks – and it’s certainly worth it. Their cocktail menu has been specially designed to make you the envy of your Instagram followers, so prepare for some seriously impressive concoctions. Try the Sugar Lips for a selfie-worthy tipple made up of Bacardi Rum, wild strawberry liqueur, Disaronno, lychee and lemon – it’s bright blue and comes topped with pink foam and a pair of pose-perfect chocolate lips.
And there’s more where that came from. These Chains comes with an actual chain tied around the glass (although you may be more taken with the mix of Belvedere Vodka, Black Sambuca, gasoline syrup and lemon within it), while Game Changer promises Patron Silver Tequila, jalepeño sweet and salty hot sauce and fresh lime, in a vision of dry ice and playing cards. It’s not just the cocktails that come with a bit of extra pizzazz – every bottle of vodka or champagne ordered is served with sparklers. Nice touch.
Music is something that Neighbourhood are really passionate about. In fact, they’ve put a lot of thought into their soundtrack, and they’re trying to do something a little bit different with it – so don’t expect to hear the same old Call Lane tunes on this side of town.
“Our music is designed to take you on an emotional journey, you know, it encompasses nostalgia and childhood memories, and then starts gearing up for the evening, taking you on this journey, where it becomes more commercial and contemporary,” Williams told us. “So during the day, over lunch, it’s 80s, Motown, re-edits, soul, funk, then as the day progresses it gets a bit more commercial, and we have throwback classics in there, and by 10-11 O’clock at night it is chart, house and r&b.”
They’re bringing their resident DJs over from their Manchester bar, where they’ve soundtracked the night for the official end of season Man United team do for two out of the last four years, as well as doing the after parties for Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. They even did Colleen Rooney’s 30th Birthday. But they’re also looking for cool, current DJs who can mix and scratch, locals who want a permanent spot in a really cool space – and they’ll be bringing in some big players too, so look out for announcements. In the past, they had guest sets from the likes of Trevor Nelson and Colin Francis.
The DJs aren’t the only entertainment on offer though. Neighbourhood has taken it up a notch. At 11 o’clock every Friday and Saturday it all kicks off – the siren blares, the bar staff down tools and everyone gets up on the tables for a choreographed dance routine. And throughout the evening, you’ll be treated to spontaneous explosions of dance from their performers, with fire eaters, acrobatics and live musicians to boot. It’s an assault on your senses, a mad, insane night out – and you won’t soon forget it.
Neighbourhood, 5 Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RW. Book a table now.