From the Corn Exchange to Burley Road: 2023 according to OWT

“Believe and work hard!”

One of the Corn Exchange’s most-loved eateries said farewell to the venue in 2023.

2023 has been a huge year – but nobody knows the ins and outs of the city better than the independent businesses that keep the cogs whirring – and so rather than us telling you what’s been going on this year, we’ve reached out to five different small business owners to give us the lowdown on 2023.

OWT is a brunch staple, and we wanted to end the year finding out all about the indie’s transformation from LS1 to LS3.

The new venue holds 60 covers and took over a site with “history in its walls”. The former home of Corner Cafe was lovingly opened in 1976 and continued to serve locals right up until March 2022.

Opening just last month, OWT is now giving the premises a new life, and you can bet the menu will be just as exciting as the current ever-changing plates available at the Corn Exchange over the past five years. Having started off on Fishmongers Row at Kirkgate Market, this is an exciting next step for a much-loved Leeds independent.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about 2023 according to OWT…

It’s been one heck of a year! What have you been up to? Tell us about any major events, exciting moments etc.

2023 has been very intense ! We left the Corn Exchange in October to move to Burley Road in LS3. 

What was one highlight from 2023 that you’ll always remember? 

Moving to a bigger venue that allows us to do evening service.

When we started OWT in 2018 in Kirkgate Market we had a clear image of what we wanted the restaurant to look/feel like. 5 years later, after a lot of hard work and organic growth, the vision became reality and this is probably the biggest victory of the year for us !

What are you looking forward to in 2024? 

Keeping on nurturing OWT but also learning how to step back and take more time for ourselves. The work / life balance when you run a restaurant is hard to achieve and we’re looking forward to be kinder to ourselves 

Where is one place that people should go and visit next year?

Diyar on Burley Road ! A tiny 10/15 covers restaurant on Burley Road, serving authentic Persian cuisine. Waitresses are the sweetest and the chef owner is so enthusiastic about his heritage and is always happy to share new flavours.

Leeds has a thriving indie community – what’s one piece of advice you’d give someone that’s looking to start their own business next year?

Create something that you’d want to be a customer of.  As long as you enjoy what you do/sell, people will follow. Believe and work hard!

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Feature Image – OWT via Instagram

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