It was a long time coming, but Green Room’s arrival in Leeds city centre shows that good things – brunch heaven, craft beer, cocktails aplenty – come to those who wait.
Patience pays off and new Leeds bar Green Room proves it. Originally planned for a 2020 open, COVID along with an extensive £3 million transformation and fit out of their new Wellington Street home put paid to that. But the wait has been more than worth it. This is an indoors-outdoors bar with a rooftop oasis in the heart of the city – it’s seriously staking its claim to be one of the best bars in Leeds and it only opened at the end of May 2022.
It’s the realisation of a dream for owners Will Habergham and Kirk Allen, who also run The Warehouse, Running Wild and Applebum Events. Their idea for Green Room came about after a trip Will made to see family in New Zealand. He visited a series of bars and restaurants that combined a quality offering with a real focus on recycling, sustainability and healthy living, something that the pair have tried to implement throughout their new venture.
With both owners based in Leeds, there was no question as to which city they were going to open Green Room in. But while the plans for the new bar were already underway, the opportunity to take over a former gentleman’s lounge on Wellington Street came about completely by chance – Will met with the owner the day a long-standing deal to turn it into a hotel had broken down. And so, Green Room was born.
That was back in 2019, and although it’s taken almost two and half years for all their plans and dreams to come to fruition, the result is truly spectacular. When it’s warm, you enter through a hole in the wall, a facade that reveals the entire inside from the street. Once you’re in, you’re met with a stylish clash of industrial fixtures and fittings, blending with the warm soft furnishings, vintage furniture and oodles of greenery – seriously, this place is horticultural heaven.
It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a food and drink offering that takes you from morning to night. By day, it’s brunch bliss courtesy of the Scandi plant-based wizards Grön who deliver a largely meat-free menu of tasty treats from 10am to 3pm. Toast is loaded up in many ways, from avocado with tomatoes, cucumber, pickled red onion and quindilla chillies to baked butter beans and herby mushrooms.
Prefer eggs? Have them poached, scrambled, Florentined or Royaled. The vegan pancakes and pavlova French toast offer a slice of sweet-tooth heaven, while come lunch, they add a salmon club, buddha bowl and sweet potato & halloumi hash into the tasty equation. Paired with eye-opening coffees made using their own Grön seasonal blend or with one of their fresh juices, Green Room has everything you need to sate a daytime tummy rumble.
By night (or earlier, no one’s judging here), the bar comes into its own. There’s a real local focus to much of Green Room’s drinks offering. The beer has been carefully hand-picked from God’s Own County – local favourites Kirkstall and North Brewing Co adorn the pumps, alongside Huddersfield’s Magic Rock, with even more Yorkshire goodness to be found in the fridges. Any Leeds bar serving Virtuous, Faith and High Wire knows its hops.
If beer’s not your bag, no problem. Gin goblets and five different spritzes sit alongside a classic-filled cocktail list – think a passion-fruit twist on the Bramble and an Espresso Martini taken up a notch with the inclusion of Leeds’ own North Star coffee. Then there’s their signature, the Green Room Iced Tea, which takes the booze-free favourite and adds peach liqueur and 42 Below vodka. Every top bar needs a go-to tipple and this should be yours here.
Not that it needs one, but Green Room has a final trick up its sleeve, its pièce de résistance. Up top, you’ll find a leaf-covered roof terrace – row-upon-row of long benches interspersed with lush greenery, with twinkling lights above you. It’s made for summer, complete with its own bar, but it will also be a place for colder months – from October, it will be a winter garden, with covered seating and heaters, the bar serving hot drinks and mulled favourites.
Heck, if you like it that much, you can even make a night of it. Green Room is has a pair of luxurious two-bedroom apartments, perfect for a dose of city centre staycationing, which you can book online. One trip up to the terrace with a Virtuous in one hand and a North Star Espresso Martini in the other, you’ll likely want to stay forever, never mind just a night!
Green Room, 36 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2DE.