Owners of acclaimed tapas restaurant, El Gato Negro, have provided a first look at the beautiful new Park Row restaurant, ahead of its official opening this week.
Located in the heart of the city’s business district, in the former Jamie’s Italian site, the impressive heritage building makes a bold impact immediately upon entry, with an intimate reception area in rich wood and adorning the restaurant’s signature black cat, confirming you’re in the right place.
Head up a handful of stairs and the first floor of the two-storey, 200-cover restaurant unfolds – the historic building’s high ceilings, ornate tiled floor, and exposed brick walls lending itself perfectly to the much-anticipated tapas restaurant.
Standing centre-stage and providing an inviting glow, is the restaurant’s large open plan kitchen where guests can enjoy watching Head Chef, Oliver Brearley, at work creating El Gato Negro’s multi-award-winning signature dishes, alongside a number of new additions, created especially for the Park Row restaurant.
Guest dining surrounds all sides of the L-shaped restaurant, with a mix of booth and table seating catering for parties of all sizes. It’s a relaxed space, with solid dark wood tables and soft seating in deep green leather contrasting seamlessly with the restaurant’s rustic green and rough brick walls – the perfect canvas for EL Gato Negro’s signature artwork and decorative items, all sourced exclusively for the restaurant.
Lighting plays a key role in creating the restaurant’s inviting atmosphere, with natural daylight flooding in through the large arched windows and striking stained glass feature wall at the back of the restaurant. Industrial pendant lights, masked by trailing plants, provide further warmth and naturally draw eyes up to the impressive distressed ceiling, where years ago glazed tiles would have once sat. You can get a taste of how it would have once looked when enjoying a glass of Spanish wine or premium beer in the restaurant’s intimate reception bar, where walk-in guests waiting for a table can enjoy a drink.
A short flight of tiled stairs leads guests to the second floor where the action continues with further booth and table dining, a marble and tiled chef’s table providing seating for six and the Black Cat, the restaurant’s private dining and function area. Offering space for 40 seated or 50 standing, and with its own mini bar, audio and presentation facilities, it’s the perfect space for private business or social parties.
Speaking ahead of the public opening, this Friday November 1st, Chef Patron and Creative Director, Simon Shaw, said: “I’m really looking forward to opening in Leeds tomorrow. I’ve spent a lot of time in the city over recent weeks as you might expect, and it feels right, like we’re at home.
“The team have done an incredible job in getting the restaurant to where it is, and we really can’t wait to open the doors now and to welcome people to EL Gato Negro. We knew from the moment we saw the site, that it was for us, but now we’re in there’s no mistaking that. It’s an incredible space.”
Heading up the kitchen and playing a key role in the development of the menu alongside Shaw is 30- year-old chef, Oliver Brearley, from Rodley. Brearley joins from The Ivy where he was Senior Sous Chef and recognised in The House of Coco’s 30 under 30.
Guests can expect to enjoy all of El Gato Negro’s multi-award-winning signature dishes, including Shaw’s much-celebrated morcilla scotch eggs with mushroom duxelle, apple purée and aioli; tiger prawns with chilli, garlic and lemon butter, and chargrilled beef fillet skewers with mojo rojo, alongside a number of new local dishes. Catering for all tastes and dietary requirements, a wide range of meat, seafood, vegetarian and vegan options are available.
The acclaimed tapas restaurant which, under the tutelage of Shaw has garnered widespread critical acclaim and a succession of accolades from Hardens, Michelin, The Times and The Good Food Guide, will open seven days a week, with food service from 12pm to 10.30pm and general service running until 2am.