Late-night bar and club operator Tokyo Industries has unveiled a new restaurant and bar in Leeds which it plans to roll out to student areas around the country.
It has launched The Joint in partnership with takeaway operator Get Baked in a 300-capacity 1820s former church in Woodhouse Lane, the former site of Halo nightclub, at Leeds University student union.
Positioned as an “anti-concept”, it is described as “a dirty burger and desserts hang-out with a deliberately edgy under-the-counter drinks menu”.
Tokyo Industries, which operates 26 bars and clubs around the UK, plans to develop another seven sites like this in student areas this year such as Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne.
Aaron Mellor, managing director of Tokyo Industries, said: “The Joint’s interior sits halfway between the dream sequence of ‘The Big Lebowski’ and the roadside vampire lair of Tarantino’s ‘Dusk Till Dawn’.
“The Joint is phase one of a much bigger project for the Halo site which, when revealed this September, will essentially become the coolest student union you’ve never seen.
“We’ve been relatively late to the food market but we found some genius food partners in Get Baked and we’ve quite a fast-track plan to roll this out through student areas – we’re already holding sites in Manchester’s Fallowfield and Newcastle.”
Last year, Tokyo Industries bought seven large freehold nightclub sites from the administrators of Premium Bars & Restaurants (PBR). This included Halo as well as four properties in Newcastle – City Vaults, Riverside, Waterside Hotel and Jimmyz – plus Klute in Durham and the Cotton Factory in Huddersfield.
The sites are trading but sit in a development pipeline before being brought into Tokyo Industries’ wider portfolio one by one after repositioning and refurbishment.
The Newcastle Bier Keller at City Vaults was the first of this package to be completed, opening in December. The Joint in Leeds is the second.