Here at House of Coco HQ, we love a new addition to our Saturday (or Thursday) nights. Whether it’s a new place to sip Bellinis with the girls or the latest hideout to visit with our latest man, we go wild for a launch. When the invite hit our mailbox for Leeds’ new hotspot ‘Red Door’, there was only one girl for it….our Lifestyle writer Jenna. Hear about what she found behind Leeds’ most anticipated doorway….
“After working in the bar and hospitality industry for the majority of my adult life, I like to think I know a thing or two about great venues. Whether that be reviewing exclusive launches to developing bars across Leeds, I know my Manhattan from my White Lady. Red Door is a great example of how to do a cocktail bar and how to do it well. With a concise menu of signature cocktails (don’t worry, they’ll make any classic for you too) and not a tacky umbrella in sight, it’s sure to be a new haunt for any mixology enthusiast.
Originally the home of Hirst’s Yard Bar and 51% Bourbon, Red Door has taken over the venue in such a way that it looks like it was born there. Walking down the side street that i’d most commonly travelled down on my way home from Space Nightclub back in my Freshers days – we were greeted by what looked like it had come straight out of Brooklyn, NY. A huge Red Door (how apt) with two glamorous hosts stood at the top of the steps, welcomed us away from the bleak Leeds weather. The exposed brick and moody lighting makes for the perfect ‘speak easy’ vibe that the brand definitely exudes.
Taking a seat, we were greeted with two glasses of Prosecco with edible glitter (very disco) and as quick as we could take a sip, two more drinks arrived! At this point we knew that Red Door were out to get us in the party mood, and it was definitely going to work. We were handed a sweet creation of gin, elderflower and blue curacao and were told how this cocktail was made to pay homage to the late founder of Living Ventures – the parent company of the bar. It’s nice when big corporate chains such as LV add in these personal touches, as it all makes it feel abit more real. Although their cocktail list is concise, it has the right amount of fun and unique elements to keep it interesting. From a Cointreau Fizz (one for those who like it seriously sweet) served up in a mini Cointreau bottle, to a cocktail genuinely served within a DISCO BALL, the Red Door likes to poke fun at gimmicky drinks and they do it in style.
My favourite cocktail of the night definitely had to be the Bakewell Sour which came with genuine Bakewell Tart as a garnish. I’m a sucker for a dessert cocktail, so this definitely stole the show for me. However, after all the sweet treats, I was craving something savoury and definitely something sour. Within 5 minutes, Red Door hooked me up. With a Tommy’s Margarita in one hand and a Chicken & Mushroom Pot Noodle in the other (YES, really) I was ready to carry on with the night. I absolutely love the idea of serving up Pot Noodles and regardless of whether it’s a gimmick or a quick way to get round licensing laws, it works. I can see a lot of Call Lane revellers stopping by here for a Pot Noodle with their Manhattans after a late night on the tiles, but maybe stay away if you don’t have a sense of humour…
Speaking to the hosts on the night, the Red Door is so much more than just a cocktail bar. With hosts to deliver table service to the ability to book out both floors, it’s the ideal destination venue for any celebration or late night rendezvous. Also, exposed brick is seriously in and the place is full of it. Following in the design footsteps of well established Leeds venues such as Epernay Champagne Bar and Shears Yard, the bar is tres shabby chic. If you like authentic stripped back interior and inventive drinks – this ones for you.
11-15 Hirsts Yard, Leeds
2 bars | 2 floors | cocktails | DJ | table service | private hire | sign up or book online