A Leeds stalwart is under new ownership for the first time in 24 years. Arts Cafe, now named simply “Arts”, is located amidst the city centre hustle and bustle of Call Lane and promises to become the neighbourhood restaurant for the city centre.
One of Leeds’ original independent cafe bars, it opened in September 1994. Since then, Arts has maintained acclaim as one of Leeds’ favourite eateries. Its reputation is built on great tasting food cooked using the finest, freshest local produce – alongside a great wine list and beer selection.
Arts’ USP? Their walls are bedecked in artworks by local up-and-coming artists, which changes regularly which sit with their relaxed atmosphere, a perfect lunchtime spot, evening meal, Sunday Roast and in 2019 regular events.
One of Leeds’ most exciting venue and events companies have taken the reigns as the new owners, which is something they find both exciting and a privilege. “It’s important to retain Arts’ core values”, Stu Butterworth (Director New Citizens) notes, “and ensure a strong future for the venue.”
New Citizens are the company behind the massively successful Chow Down events this summer in Halifax’s Piece Hall, as well as Canal Mills event space and their pop-up restaurant, Workshop. Matt Long (Director at New Citizens) and Stu will be maintaining all that history as well as adding their own, under their new ownership of Arts:
“It’s a staple of the indie scene in Leeds, with a lot of history and heritage that we didn’t want to lose. We don’t want to completely change the concept, more bring it up to date and give it a refresh. We’re still maintaining the gallery element of the venue and will be displaying works from exciting artists on a four-week rotation.”
Working with the existing team, Matt and Stu have had “lots of fun” enhancing and modernising the food and drink offering, as well as making some changes and refreshes to the interior, keeping a Leeds institution current and well-maintained.
Look out for Arts’ new website and branding with the restaurant launching on the 16th November with a new menu, which still highlights provenance and high quality. The Leeds legacy continues.