Here at House of Coco, we’re championing the hospitality industry as much as we can. They’ve taken such a hit in the past 12 months that we’re here to support them as much as we can. Especially new places that are opening which is why we’re really excited about what’s coming for Leeds.
A new rooftop bar and plant-based eatery, The Green Room, is set to open on Wellington Street this summer. This newest addition to the Leeds nightlife and leisure scene is a collaboration between young entrepreneurs Will Habergham and Pj Gardner.
Inspiration for the concept initially came from New Zealander Will. Following a trip down under visiting family and friends, he returned with a vision for opening a multifunctional venue that could be a coffee shop by day, bar by night.
Both Will and Pj are familiar faces in the leisure industry having worked for the past decade in clubs, events, music and festivals and crossed paths whilst working the club scene. They quickly realised not only did they have a mutual passion for music and nightlife but also recycling and sustainability. Fast forward 2 years, that passion has become a reality, and this summer, The Green Room is set to open its doors.
Co-Founder Will Habergham said “Having worked all my life in the nightlife and leisure industry, I’ve seen how trends have changed not only in how we socialise and attitudes towards the environment but also in how we work. Due to the impact of the pandemic and the trends towards a healthier lifestyle, people’s perception of the work/play balance has been forced to change, and we wanted to create a space that can accommodate those lifestyle changes and beliefs.”
During the pandemic, this forward-thinking duo have been working relentlessly to transform a historic building in the heart of Wellington street. The striking building with an impressive terrace is located next door to the newly renovated Majestic building, home to the new Channel 4 HQ and seconds away from Leeds City Station.
Inspired by the heritage of the building, the site’s transformation commenced in Nov 2020 with an entire renovation. Previously an old members club, phase one has seen over 70 metric tons of waste removed and recycled from the site.
Co-Founder Pj Gardner speaking about his passion about the environment and sustainability commented: “We wanted to bring our vision to life and create a space that is in line with our beliefs and core values and create an environment focusing on wellbeing and sustainability while still enjoying all the benefits of nightlife. Our aim is not to send any waste to landfills and always recycle. Although the site has been completely gutted and renovated, we have tried to keep as many of the building’s original features, such as the original flooring and used décor and fittings from other reclaimed or recycled sources where possible.”
The developers behind the renovation, All Property Management Ltd, have ploughed £3 million in transforming this ground-breaking scheme. All Property Management are no strangers to unique and high spec developments and are the brains behind several schemes in the region, including The Bells Hotel, Briggate Boutique and Carr Hall Castle to name but a few.
As well as enhancing some of the building’s original features, charm and character, the developers plan to incorporate lots of greenery into the decor, an eclectic blend of industrial fittings, reclaimed furniture complemented by ‘warm’ soft furnishings.
Roof Top Terrace
One The Green Rooms unique features is the impressive rooftop terrace that spans over 1500 sqft. With a south-facing view, the sun-filled terrace makes the perfect location for alfresco dining, pop-up parties and summer BBQ’s.
Will said; “The Rooftop terrace is our USP, and due to COVID, outdoor spaces are vitally more important. The terrace’s size not only allows people to sit comfortably in an outdoor space but also allows to put any future social distance measures in place. By day the terrace will make the perfect setting for people who need a relaxed environment to work from, brunches, lunches, and by night the perfect setting for after-work cocktails and sunset music led events. In the winter months, we plan to utilise the space for pop-up markets or similar outdoor events that have become so much more important over the last year. We are so excited to bring our vision to life and create a unique and creative space where customers can enjoy the bar and restaurant and utilise the space to work from, or simply socialise.”
The impressive duo aims to be at the forefront of plant-based dining in the city and hope to change some of the biggest sceptics’ palates. With its all-day menu, the Green Room promises to offer a range of interesting and tasty plant-based dishes that will appeal to all taste buds and will utilise ingredients sourced both locally and ethically. An enticing experience awaits those who might have previously never considered such a healthier and sustainable option.
Pj, who has been fully plant based for two years wants to prove that vegan food can be tasty, accessible and as more-ish as anything dairy or meat based.
“We want to be pioneers in the plant food business and The Green Room will be at the forefront of changing people’s perception about what plant-based food is. It’s not just about salads and pulses, the menu will be a mix of Asian inspired healthy bowls, but for those food junkies there will be a selection of tasty vegan burgers, pizzas and even vegan dirty fries! More recently people’s attitude and perception to vegan food is changing. We wanted to go out on a limb, make our mark and not just offer a standard bar menu with 2 or 3 veggies and vegan choices.”
Co-founder Will encourages people to step out of their comfort zone…
“I’m not a vegan but live a healthy lifestyle and care about the environment, so I feel it’s important that we try and educate people on the benefits of a lifestyle change. We are not here to judge or ram it down anyone’s throat; our approach is very laid back in a very relaxed, cool bar setting which will hopefully help towards changing people’s perceptions of what they consume. Try it; you don’t have to be vegan every day; you might be pleasantly surprised!”
As with most people in the leisure industry, the pandemic has undoubtedly taken its toll on the duo, and there were some uncertain moments.
“We weren’t overly worried in the first lockdown as we were still in the planning and building phases, so if anything, it gave us the time to channel all our energy into the project. However, by the 2nd and now 3rd lockdown, there were uncertain moments when we thought, have we done the right thing? However, since Boris’s announcement, we are confident that we are back on track and ready to open once the world turns back to normal.”
The Green Room is expected to open to the public in late Spring early summer and is, without a doubt, going to be a great addition to the already thriving Leeds bar and restaurant scene. Embrace the change and try something different!
Social handle – @greenroom_
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