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The Owl Leeds | New Kirkgate Market Gastro Pub Announces Opening Date

The Owl Leeds | New Kirkgate Market Gastro Pub Announces Opening Date

Kirkgate Market prepares to welcome the first-ever pub into its historic interior, with The Owl Leeds set to open on Friday, 1st November 2019.

HOME’s fine dining stars Liz Cottam and Mark Owens collaborate this autumn on a unique new concept to bring foodie footfall into this Leeds institution.

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Gastropub The Owl will serve up a menu refined to celebrate the North’s best produce, and pay homage to their location – at the top of the market’s Fish & Game Row. The restaurant is also one of the first in Leeds to go cashless, with only card payment allowed, to streamline the payment process.

The collaboration will bring a first in Kirkgate’s 150-year history – a pub inside the market’s walls. Fish & Game Row, alongside Butcher’s Row, is the oldest part of the ornate market building, dating back to 1875. This is where the Owl will be situated, transforming 4 units into 1. Named because of the remnants of stone-carved owls you can make out in the arches above.

The Owl Leeds Opening Date Revealed

The Owl will open to the public on Friday 1st November, with bookings now open online.

Their taproom showcases all-star Leeds brewery Northern Monk, who have even developed a special brew with Liz; Wisdom is a hazy Pale Ale with notes of lemon verbena.

“Wisdom” will sit alongside five other beer lines, which will be complemented, rather unusually, by a number of fine wines – available on tap.

The Owl will bring a completely new and vibrant feel to Fish & Game Row, as punters come down to enjoy food and drink as well as get their weekly shopping done in this historic Leeds institution.

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The Owl’s Menu

The Owl offers a bar menu of snacks, alongside its A La Carte and 3 course Set Menus, so whether you just fancy a nibble alongside your drink or a fully-fledged meal, The Owl will fit your fancy.

Focussing on both fish and game, the menu features their Mr Crab Fish Pie (crab, salmon and cod topped with creamy mash and baked in a crab shell), the daily-changing whole roast game bird served with potatoes, veg and gravy, and rabbit suet pudding – amongst many other mouth-watering options.

Liz pairs all of the dishes with wines at her fine dining restaurant HOME – and she will offer special beer pairings at The Owl, using the wide variety of extraordinary Northern Monk brews on offer.


The Owl Leeds crab dish

Night Owls enter here…

The market is a carefully protected space, and not usually open after dark. The Owl has secured a special situation, however, which has never been seen before; its guests will be allowed to enter Kirkgate’s dark and empty halls, to be accompanied to The Owl.

On Friday and Saturday nights, pre-booked guests who have reserved online will be given unique evening access to The Owl. They will be met individually at the market’s doors, and escorted to this exclusive venue to enjoy it by night. Pre-booking is essential, even just for drinks.

Liz Cottam, Co-Founder of HOME and The Owl: “We are so excited to reveal the opening date. The Owl will be a haven of peace from the busy streets and the hustle of Kirkgate Market. 

I’ve always been drawn to owning a pub in the Market, and I really want this place, and the Market, to thrive once again. I have already made some great friends with traders like Malcolm Michaels, Owt, Tarbett’s and many others, and I hope that more businesses will follow us into this great space.”  

The Owl is the first of four market venues Liz and Mark plan to open over the next few months.

Leeds Kirkgate Market, Vicar Lane, Leeds LS2 7HY – 0113 378 1950

To book online, to enquire about membership, or to see the menu, see The Owl’s website: https://www.theowlleeds.co.uk/ 

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Four New Market Venues

The pair plan to launch four separate foodie concepts in Kirkgate Market this year.

Cottam and Owens’ plans aim to entice everybody – whether a frequent market goer, a Leeds shopper who has never set foot inside Kirkgate or one of their existing fine-dining customers excited for more foodie ventures from the chefs behind HOME.

From informal nibbles to unique and exclusive chef’s table experiences, takeaway office lunch-on-the-go to champagne and oysters, coffee to crab pie – there will be something for everyone here.

The team-work very closely on HOME and will continue to do so on these new additional concepts, but there will be one venture Liz will head up on her own. This soon-to-be-announced concept will reveal host Elizabeth’s vision for a chef’s table-style, high-end, intimate dining experience.

They are hoping to bring more city centre visitors through the market, giving it a real lease of life.


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Written by

Peter Henry


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