Drinks carriage: Twisted Bars’ stylish bar The Ticket Office in Ilkley

Ticket Office Ilkley. PIcture by Heidi Marfitt

Twisted Bars has created a new bar, The Ticket Office, in Ilkley in West Yorkshire. Pictures by Heidi Marfitt

A former booking office inside the Victorian railway station in Ilkley in West Yorkshire has found new life as a stylish bar. Part of the Station Plaza complex, The Ticket Office is a destination for tea and coffee in the daytime and premium cocktails, spirits, wines and beers in the evening. It is the latest venture from Twisted Bars, headed by managing director Adam Lewis, who also has The Yard in Ilkley and Everybodys in nearby Guiseley.

With general manager Lawrence Doyle and a team of 15, they are aiming the new bar at a “discerning clientele”, opening to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, midnight on Thursdays and 11pm the rest of the week, with an over-21 door policy. “We’re a small, independent business and are proud to be part of Ilkley’s re-emerging night scene,” Lawrence says. “Our location within Ilkley railway station makes us a super-accessible and equally upscale alternative to a night-out in Leeds.”

At a cost of nearly £500,000, the refurbishment of the former restaurant space was carried out by Ilkley-based Mallard Design who were asked to “remain true to the building’s historic past whilst incorporating modern twists”. Original features such as beams and thick Yorkshire stone flags have been retained, with ceiling tiles and other finishes carefully sourced to blend in seamlessly. Parquetry has been used to create a feature wall, while the bar counter has a stunning illuminated top and glass racks that double as LED light fittings. “We’ve not gone overboard on the railway theme, but customers can expect to find a nod to the building’s heritage in our stylish interior”, Lawrence adds.

The Ticket Office Ilkley. PIcture by Heidi Marfitt

As well as favourites such as an Espresso Martini and a Pornstar Martini, the menu features inventive twists on the classics and original recipes. The cleverly named Ilkley Mure Bar Tat is a mix of bourbon, blackberries, mint and maple syrup while Smoke on the Moor is a smoky version of a bourbon-based Old Fashioned. Drawing on local ingredients whenever possible, other drinks include a Rhubarb & Ginger Negroni, the gin-based Yorkshire Country Garden and the rhubarb-flavoured Yorkshire Triangle.

There is a good selection of craft and cask ales on draught and in bottles, from Ilkley Brewery’s Alpha Beta Rye Session IPA and Roosters Baby-Faced Assassin IPA to Hitachino Nest White Ale from Japan and Celia Organic Lager from the Czech Republic. From Germany comes the exclusive 4% ABV pilsner, aptly named Bahnhof, meaning “station”. Open from 11am, the bar also offers a range of good-quality coffees, loose-leaf teas and non-alcoholic cocktails.

With capacity of 150, the venue is promoted for private hire, while Lawrence, who has a track record managing high-end restaurants and bars, is introducing cocktail masterclasses. A food menu will be coming in the spring alongside plans to open a heated outdoor terrace, ensuring The Ticket Office is firmly established as a “first-class drinks carriage”.

The Ticket Office, 11 Station Plaza. Station Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 8HF
Tel: 01943 674455

The Ticket Office Ilkley. PIcture by Heidi Marfitt

Behind the scenes
Design: Mallard Design
Contractor: Moor Developments
Bar system: ServaClean Bar Systems
Signage and graphics: Leading Edge

The Ticket Office Ilkley. PIcture by Heidi Marfitt

Originally published in the February 2018 print edition of Bar magazine.

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