Leading Halifax operator to open new bar in Leeds

53 degrees north halifax

A new bar and late lounge are to be opened in Leeds in July alongside a new restaurant venture by a leading Halifax operator.

The Ricci Group is planning a second 53 Degrees North – a bar that takes its name from the line of latitude of the first site in Dean Clough in Halifax, West Yorkshire (pictured).

Along with new restaurant Ricci’s Tapas & Cicchetti, it will open on July 11 at Goodbard House in Infirmary Street in Leeds’ financial district. It will include a private dining and meeting room and a “secret” basement gin bar.

The group, headed by Michael Ricci and Olivia McGorlick, originally opened modern Mediterranean restaurant Ricci’s Place in Halifax town centre in 2011, followed by Ricci’s Tapas and Cicchetti in Dean Clough in 2013 and 53 Degrees North in 2014.

53 Degrees North aims to capture the essence of Michael’s “spiritual homeland” of Ibiza, with a commitment to “exceptional” drinks and creating the perfect sound to complement them.

The new Leeds bar will showcase artists and DJs from across the world as well as bring new weekly residents and up-and-coming talent, with a music programme that promises to be “different from the norm”.

53 Degrees North will feature a range of premium-quality spirits and liqueurs and cocktails. It will also be the first in the UK to serve Estrella Galicia 1906 Reserva Especial on draught – a dark amber lager with balanced smoothness and a bitter touch.

The bar will be open from midday seven days a week, until midnight Sunday to Wednesday, until 2am on Thursdays and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ricci’s Tapas and Cicchetti will offer a “playful twist” on traditional tapas by incorporating fresh ingredients while “playing on the unexpected”. Menu highlights will include tempura of soft shell crab with harissa, tomato and ginger aioli and slow-roasted Iberico suckling pig cooked with fresh herbs and lemon.

The restaurant will also offer more creative dishes created by Michael and executive chef Mark Kemp, such as goats cheese churros with truffle honey and poached hake in Estrella Galicia beer with cockles, asparagus and nduja.

Michael said: “Leeds has such a vibrant, buzzing, social scene that is constantly evolving. The bars and eateries play a vital role in making Leeds the thriving city it has become – we want to be part of it.

“We are passionate about creating exceptional food and drink to create an unforgettable experience for everyone who visits Ricci’s Tapas & Cicchetti and 53 Degrees North. We want to bring something fresh and new to the table which will surprise and excite the people of Leeds and we will do just that.”

The space will have a design that is modern and rustic, retaining some of the original features in the grade II-listed building. The design of the two venues is described as a “journey”, with indulgent fabrics and a weathered steel central bar in 53 Degrees North, with a “sound-scaped” lift taking people to Ricci’s Tapas and Cicchetti where the Mediterranean will come to the forefront. It will also feature bespoke artwork from acclaimed graffiti artist Ben Allen.

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