Bibis is 50 Years Old: Celebrate Its Golden Birthday

Bibis at 50: The iconic Leeds restaurant invites you to celebrate its remarkable journey and milestone birthday. 

Leeds, like many cities, sees restaurants and bars come and go, but only a few leave a lasting legacy across generations. Bibis Italianissimo, a family-owned independent restaurant, is one such iconic venue. 

The original Bibis on Mill Hill

Business partners Oliver Teodorani and Dino Aristotelous opened the restaurant back 1974, bringing something new to the northern food scene, with Bibis going on to become a genuine Yorkshire institution, effortlessly moving with the times to remain relevant and at the very top of its game. To mark a triumphant 50 years in the notoriously tough hospitality industry, Bibis recently held their unforgettable icons party and will be hosting a Golden Gala black tie event in October, which promises to be nothing short of spectacular.

Showstopping Italian cuisine

Now in its third home, Bibis made its debut at its Mill Hill site in 1974, before moving to Greek Street in 1988, bringing affordable luxury to the City and setting the stage to transform Leeds’ dining scene forever.  During their time on Greek Street, the partnership ended, leaving Oliver to grow the brand and set his sights on the next chapter. In 2004, Bibis doubled in size and relocated to the stunning Criterion Place venue, where it remains today.

The 300-seat restaurant, designed by famous interior designer Tessa Kennedy (notable for The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz), is a design enthusiast’s dream, featuring showstopping Art Deco elements that evoke the opulence of a bygone era. The centrepiece is the stunning bar, complemented by a 4000 sq ft open kitchen that seamlessly blends the dining and culinary spaces.

Pioneer

More than just a restaurant, Bibis is a destination and a pioneer of the social dining scene as one of the first restaurants to introduce entertainment mixed with dining, which is now a standard in the hospitality industry. Inspired by the swinging ‘60s, the disco boom of the ‘70s, and the vibrant nightclub scenes of London, Paris and Milan, Oliver envisioned a venue where live music and dining could coexist. This vision gave rise to Bibis famed Showtime events. 

Showtime at Bibis

Now serving as the home of Showtime for nearly two decades, Bibis offers the ideal fusion of dining, drinks and entertainment. Showcasing a diverse range of acts spanning from the best tribute acts, live bands and talented musicians, Bibis provides a captivating and memorable experience for all guests.

To this day, Bibis remains family-owned, and one of the oldest independent restaurants in the region, led by Oliver and his wife Luciana, who have managed the current site for the last 20 years. Oliver: “I’m as passionate about the business as when I started 50 years ago, and Bibis wouldn’t be where it is today without the hard work of Team Bibis, both past and present, and my wonderful wife Luciana – the face of Bibis Italianissimo.”

Oliver with wife Luciana

Despite facing numerous challenges over the years, Oliver’s determination has only strengthened. “Even after five decades in the restaurant business, new challenges continue to emerge, especially in recent years. Nevertheless, we pride ourselves on turning negatives into positives. I’ve witnessed incredible growth and feel that the restaurant scene in Leeds has come full circle. It’s truly an honour to be part of this vibrant community.”

All dishes at Bibis are created freshly in-house, including their special recipe pizza dough and exquisite bespoke desserts and cakes. Complimented with an extensive cocktail menu, Bibis is the perfect venue for all occasions.

Oliver: “As we celebrate this milestone, we are also looking to the future. We continually evolve our shows and introduce fresh acts for our Showtime events, embracing the next generation of diners and performers. Our motto, ‘Sempre Avanti’ – always forward – embodies our commitment to continuous innovation. We wouldn’t be here, doing what we love, without the support of our fantastic guests across multiple generations. To them, I say grazie mille and thank you for the memories.”

Head to www.bibisrestaurant.com/50-years-bibis for details on events, offers and giveaways.

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