The Green Room is due to open this summer as a plant-based restaurant and rooftop bar founded by Will Habergham and Pj Gardner (pictured).
Will, a New Zealander, brought the concept back to Leeds after visiting family, inspired to plan a venue which will serve as a coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
Pj and Will have spent the last ten years in clubs, music and festivals, so when they met, it was a bonus to realise that they also share enthusiasm for sustainability. Now they are putting those passions into opening the doors of The Green Room.
Will: “Having worked all my life in the nightlife and leisure industry, I’ve seen how trends have changed, not only in how we socialise and attitudes towards the environment but also in how we work. Due to the impact of the pandemic and the trends towards a healthier lifestyle, people’s perception of the work/play balance has been forced to change, and we wanted to create a space that can accommodate those lifestyle changes and beliefs.”
Work begun in November last year has continued, to transform the premises, situated next to the Channel 4 HQ.
Pj: “We wanted to bring our vision to life and create a space that is in line with our beliefs and core values, and create an environment focusing on wellbeing and sustainability while still enjoying all the benefits of nightlife. Our aim is not to send any waste to landfills and always recycle. Although the site has been completely gutted and renovated, we have tried to keep as many of the building’s original features, such as the original flooring, and used décor and fittings from other reclaimed or recycled sources where possible.”
All Property Management Ltd have invested £3 million into this transformation. Their other developments include The Bells Hotel, Briggate Boutique and Carr Hall Castle. Showcasing some of the building’s original features, the interior will include a blend of industrial fittings and reclaimed furniture, warm soft furnishings and of course a great deal of greenery.
Roof Top Terrace
The south-facing terrace spans over 1500 sq ft., providing space for pop-up parties, summer barbecues and all fresco dining.
Will: “The Rooftop terrace is our USP, and due to COVID, outdoor spaces are vitally more important. The terrace’s size not only allows people to sit comfortably in an outdoor space but also allows to put any future social distance measures in place. By day, the terrace will make the perfect setting for people who need a relaxed environment to work from, for brunches, lunches, and by night the perfect setting for after-work cocktails and sunset music-led events. In the winter months, we plan to utilise the space for pop-up markets or similar outdoor events that have become so much more important over the last year. We are so excited to bring our vision to life and create a unique and creative space, where customers can enjoy the bar and restaurant and utilise the space to work from, or simply socialise.”
Sceptics of plant-based food may well be convinced when they sample the menu at The Green Room. It promises to appeal to a wide range of tastes, use locally sourced ingredients and provided an option which is both healthy and sustainable.
Pj: (who has been fully plant based for two years) “We want to be pioneers in the plant food business and The Green Room will be at the forefront of changing people’s perception about what plant-based food is. It’s not just about salads and pulses; the menu will be a mix of Asian inspired healthy bowls, but for those food junkies there will be a selection of tasty vegan burgers, pizzas and even vegan dirty fries! More recently, people’s attitude and perception to vegan food is changing. We wanted to go out on a limb, make our mark and not just offer a standard bar menu with 2 or 3 veggies and vegan choices.”
Will: “I’m not a vegan but live a healthy lifestyle and care about the environment, so I feel it’s important that we try and educate people on the benefits of a lifestyle change. We are not here to judge or ram it down anyone’s throat; our approach is very laid back in a very relaxed, cool bar setting which will hopefully help towards changing people’s perceptions of what they consume. Try it; you don’t have to be vegan every day; you might be pleasantly surprised!”
As with most people in the leisure industry, the pandemic has undoubtedly taken its toll on the duo, and there were some uncertain moments, but it seems they are on track after the Prime Minister’s recent announcement.
Photographs provided by Pink Gorilla.