Bar operators join forces to launch city’s largest outdoor covered drinks area

Seven local independent operators located on Merrion Street have joined forces to install a 50m canopy over the street to create the city’s largest outdoor drinking area.

Manahatta, MOJO, Verve, Mean Eyed Cat, Roxy Ball Room, Yard & Coop and Liv Bar are taking part in the new venture, which will launch on 12th April in line with the Government’s easing of restrictions for hospitality.

Inspiration for the idea came from the hugely successful Merrion Street Festival in the summer of 2020, which saw bar and restaurant operators on the street collaborate for a weekend of live music, food and drink.

Lisa Morris, co-owner or Yard & Coop, said: “Merrion Street has some of the area’s best party bars and restaurants all now with plenty of outside seating and professional covering, making it one of the largest covered party areas in Leeds. Each venue will be showcasing their best drinks, food and good times. This is going to feel like being on holiday in the centre of Leeds – every weekend.”

The outdoor area which will see the entire street covered with a canopy has the capacity to seat up to 200 people, provides “plenty of outside seating” according to Lisa Morris, co-owner of Yard & Coop. She added that “each venue will be showcasing their best drinks, food and good times”, as the hospitality industry looks to recover from a hard 12 months.

Martin Wolstencroft from Arc Inspiration added: “Manahatta is delighted to work with the other bars on Merrion Street to create a unique, fantastic destination for all our customers to come together and celebrate the reopening of the superb hospitality Leeds is famous for.”

The Merrion Street collaboration will launch on 12 April and run up until 17 May, when the hospitality industry is expected to resume normal trade with venues allowed to open their doors to the public.

Martin Greenhow, MD of MOJOS, added: “Everyone on Merrion Street is immensely excited to welcome back all our old friends and guests and finally offer some much-needed relief from the house arrest we’ve all had to endure.

“At last, someone else will make you a drink and take care of the cooking!”