The New York style bar is popular with the young, professional crowd and offers drinks, food and an extravagant bottomless brunch menu at the weekends.
Unfortunately, the unpredictable British weather decided to put in an appearance, opening the heavens a few hours before the event, which meant the terrace was out of use for the first part of the evening. However, with Pink Gorilla and Hairy Lemon’s motto of ‘When it rains, we pour’ (the drinks!) there was no need to feel put out by the weather.
The bar was showcasing four of their summer cocktail concoctions at the event. The first we tried was the Vanilla and Pineapple Slush. Made with CÎROC Vanilla, pineapple juice, and coconut milk and served with a pineapple wedge, the drink had a tropical feel and was a fresh and original take on a Pina Colada.
The Peach Crush was also a tropical themed drink made with CÎROC Peach, apple, and cranberry and served with a lime wedge. It was easy to see it being the perfect drink to sip during a hot summer evening on the terrace.
For those looking for a more sophisticated drink, the Elderflower Fizz made with CÎROC, apple, elderflower and prosecco ticked all the boxes. This was my favourite drink of the night; the elderflower complemented the prosecco perfectly and seemed perfectly in tune with East 59th’s stylish décor.
The final drink we sampled was the Vanilla Bellini, an elegant cocktail, put together with CîROC vanilla and prosecco. This was the perfect flavour to end the night on – a classy drink which would also have been at home at a boozy brunch. The cocktails were all reasonably priced at around £7 – £8.
The rain did ease off towards the end of the night, allowing the guests to migrate outside onto the terrace. East 59th’s tropical décor helped to create a summery atmosphere despite the weather conditions. Although the outdoor bar wasn’t open, it was easy to imagine the kind of chilled summer evening that could take place out here under better weather circumstances.
Guests were also served an array of canapés out on the terrace, including olives, stuffed spicy peppers and nachos with guacamole. The DJ helped keep the party going throughout the evening, accompanied by a sax player who even got up on the bar to entertain the crowd.
East Springs terrace doesn’t have the most picturesque outlook in Leeds, as the multi-storey car park dominates the skyline. However, if you’re at the outdoor bar area, instead of the seated section, you can still get an Instagram worthy view of Kirkgate market and the Corn Exchange. The view might not quite be summer in Manhattan, but after a couple of cocktails, the décor can almost take you there.
The restaurant section of East 59th was also busy, with customers enjoying the American themed menu, which features ribs, lobster and burgers. A few people had chosen to enjoy the Supper Club menu, which offers a starter, main and unlimited bubbles or beer for £35 a head.
Despite the rain, Pink Gorilla and Hairy Lemon managed to put on an enjoyable evening that has surely helped to lay East 59th’s foundation as the terrace to chill on this summer.
Esther is a contributor for Leeds Living, covering events all across the City, on topics such as eat/drink, retail therapy and culture.