The best new bars serving cocktails to open in Leeds in 2021

Where better to grab a cocktail than a new 2021 opening?

Whether you love an old fashioned or a quirky concoction, there’s loads of new bars around Leeds to choose from.

We haven’t had a full year of bar and restaurant openings this year, given the state of lockdown at the start of the year, but in the months that hospitality has been open to the public, we’ve seen plenty of new openings emerge in Leeds city centre and beyond.

Here are some of our favourite cocktail bars to unwind after a long day in.

Canal Club, Granary Wharf

Image: Canal Club

This exotic, tropical flair at the newly-opened Canal Club is designed to transport guests straight to a Havana-style club night that’s perfect to grab a few photos for the ‘gram, let your hair down and party like you’re under the tropical heat of the Caribbean. Cocktails are beautifully garnished and served in stunning glassware, so why not try a cherry Blossom ‘Tini, served Asian-style with sake and Cointreau, or turn up the heat by sipping on a spicy Strawberry and Coconut Margarita with jalapeño-infused tequila.

Find out more here.

Flight Club, South Parade

Image: Flight Club

Flight Club has pioneered its own form of tech-savvy, supercharged darts – working with their very own astrophysicist to create a unique patented dart tracking technology for their multiplayer games and brought this concept to the masses back in June. The new opening brought all the foodie goods to Leeds too: including flatbread pizzas, alcoholic slushies and a notorious brunch that offers revellers endless slices and bottles of prosecco.

Find out more here.

Number 8, Meanwood

Image: Number 8

Previously located over in Manchester at the independent urban village Hatch, Number 8 has made quite a name for itself across the Pennines with its fun takes on classics, all made using premium ingredients. It was certainly a tough time for lots of independent small hospitality businesses last year, but now it seems that things are on the up. They’re definitely looking good for the guys behind Number 8, who secured the former Hungry Bear unit on Stonegate road back in October.

Find out more here.

Grand Pacific, Queens Hotel

Image: Queens Hotel

The Queens Hotel in central Leeds had a huge £16 million refurbishment in 2021, ushering in a grand new era for the 84-year-old property. One of the most iconic drinks at the hotel’s cocktail bar and restaurant Grand Pacific has to be their ‘golden pineapple’ which is both a cocktail in its own right and a symbol of hospitality in general. Made with several different types of rum, pineapple, guava and lime and then topped with crushed ice it’s pretty to look at and wonderfully refreshing too.

Find out more here.

Better Days Cafe, Grand Arcade

Image: Better Days Bar

A new wellbeing cafe with a focus on improving people’s mental health opened in Leeds earlier this year. Called Better Days, it’s located inside the Grand Arcade and sets itself apart from other bars and cafes in the area by offering dedicated (and free) classes in improving wellbeing. Better Days offers free support to everyone who visits and, according to owner Vicky Fytche, is the only place of its kind in Leeds- and we’re so excited to see something so important pop up in our city.

Find out more here.

The Canary Bar, Leeds Dock

Image: The Canary Bar

Complete with waterside views, live music and mulled wine, this new Mediterranean bar on Leeds Docks is a must-visit. One of the latest bars to enter the Leeds foodie scene, The Canary is described as a ‘welcoming social hub serving up locally brewed beers and spirits’. Its name and bright yellow exterior, meanwhile, nods to Yorkshire’s mining history and the birds’ special place in it. The Canary bar may have only been open a few weeks but between their live music, quiz nights and locally brewed pints, we’re expecting big things from this bar in 2022.

Find out more here.

Saint Judes, Farsley

Image: Open Gift Card

Located in the former home of Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale, the new sister site Saint Jude is a new all-day bar and restaurant in Farsley that will go from brunch to late-night cocktails. Run by Farsley-based sisters Alex and Cassie Rogerson, just like their popular pizzeria Grumpy’s the new restaurant is also named after their parents. It doesn’t get much more Yorkshire than that. There’s a cocktail bar within the bar, and a delicious menu of drinks available.

Find out more here.

Grindhouse Bar, Briggate

Image: Grindhouse Bar

Called Grindhouse Bar, inside table lamps light up original film cells, film soundtracks play on a loop, and there is – of course – a big screen showing house favorites on repeat. Initially due to open in May 2020, it’s been a long time coming – (opening to the public in May 2021) but now we’re finally able to sit inside and enjoy a drink and some locally sourced grub in silver screen style. The brainchild of Dave Holmes (founder of Santiago) and Paul Handley (previously Santiago and Mojo), the pair came up with the idea for a movie-inspired venue after a few beers and now serve a range of drinks inside their cocktail bar.

Find out more here.

Nelson’s Distillery and School, Neville Street

Image: Nelson’s Distillery and School

Read More: Tom Zanetti is opening a new dine, drink and dance concept in Leeds

A new gin and vodka school arrived in Leeds city centre this year where you can make your own perfect bottle to take home. Called Nelson’s Distillery and School, it officially opened its doors inside the Hilton back in May following a bit of a rocky launch. Through no fault of its own. the school initially opened in 2020 and served customers for just two weeks before it had to close again due to Covid regulations. Now, you can make your own spirits to make delicious cocktails at their Hilton location on Neville Street.

Find out more here.

Feature Image- Grand Pacific

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