North bar opened in 1997 on New Briggate in Leeds.
Why did we open a bar? – Because we wanted somewhere ace to drink. At the time Leeds was a bar desert. By the time we’d opened Mojo and Arts were open – That was pretty much it. Before that…..the places to go were the Conservatory and some place on Merrion Street….So memorable that I can’t remember the name….(Harveys!)
We opened with a draught selection including Kronenbourg, Beamish Red, Guinness and Fosters….. However, we cared passionately about our customers, that hasn’t changed. Fortunately the drinks have.
The Chimays and Duvel inspired us to stock better drinks. Anchor Liberty Ale inspired us to stock American beers. The first draught Erdinger, Sierran Nevada, Brooklyn Lager in the UK were all poured first at North.
Over the last 16 years we’ve found it difficult to explain what North Bar is and what North Bar does. We still find it strange to describe Northbar as a company or a brand. Having 6 bars has turned us into a ‘brand’ or a ‘group’ and we’re not always comfortable with it. We believe that our group doesn’t have typical business values, our bars are living, breathing ‘things’, the customers play a massive part in that.
Our values are built on the values of our customers and what they want. The best service, products, atmosphere and place. It’s the staff who work passionately to make it work and the customers who breathe life into it.
We’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve drunk too much, made far too many mistakes but overall we’re proud of what we are, what we do, how we do it and our role in the communities we exist in.
We’re owned by us. We live locally as do the people who run and work in our bars all live locally – the money you spend in our bars all goes back into the local economy. We’re not some faceless company with an HQ in the Cayman Islands….
We put together this infographic – ‘Northbar Ltd – A Pint of Beer’, to help ourselves understand how we work and we thought we’d share it with the people we are working for: you.