By Abbey Gray
A SUMMER of al fresco dining is coming to an end this weekend after a six-month trial to pedestrianise Greek Street in Leeds city centre.
The street, which runs parallel to the Headrow, is one of the city’s hotspots for bars and restaurants and in April became a car-free zone during peak times.
Many venues, including The Alchemist, The Liquorist, Gusto and All Bar One, took part in the trial by adding outdoor dining areas offering customers the chance to enjoy eating and drinking in the sunshine.
Business development manager at The Alchemist, Naomi Dallas, came up with the idea and hopes Leeds City Council will make it an annual occurrence.
Greek Street was pedestrianised from 5pm until midnight on Thursdays and Fridays and 1pm until midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Naomi said: “Customers reacted very positively to the al fresco dining available to them. Although the trial is coming to an end but we hope it will happen again next year and things are looking promising.
“The council see the benefits, in terms of increase in employment, improving Leeds as an event and tourist destination and decreasing the level of cars in the city.”
A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “The pedestrianisation of Greek Street is a major part of our efforts to support businesses and make the city centre more attractive for residents and visitors.
“We want Leeds to have the most vibrant city centre in the country and that means we have to get behind schemes like this that improve the look and feel of outdoor spaces.”
A bartender at The Liquorist, Calum Heffron, said: “The pedestrianisation has been something fun for staff and customers. It’s added something different to Leeds and has been really well received.
“It’d be great to have it back next year and for many years to come and I know customers would agree.”