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Blog: Arc Inspirations makes significant investment to open experiential Box site in Leeds

Arc Inspirations, the leading bar operator of a number of fast-growing brands including Manahatta, Banyan Bar & Kitchen and The Box, is investing £1.4 million to open a new Box site in Leeds that majors on creating memorable experiences.

The two storey new-look site, which will take the group’s thriving portfolio of bars to 18, opens this September in a prime city centre location on the corner of Infirmary Street; close to its Banyan Bar and Kitchen and Manahatta sites. It will be the second Box site in Leeds, joining the existing bar in Headingley.

This latest opening demonstrates Arc Inspirations’ strategy of operating sites in clusters, with several venues located in close proximity and complementary to each other.

The concept at the new Box site has significantly evolved, boasting a range of experiential activities for likeminded customers and young professionals seeking quality experiences, alongside a refreshed menu, championing the finest local ingredients, and a drinks offer boasting draught cocktails and tank beer.

In recognition of the growing consumer demand for experiences within bars, The Box will include two full size (21 foot) Maplewood European shuffleboard tables, situated in an exclusive ‘Shuffle-Box’ area; as well as a designated electronic dart board area; and with a number of widescreen TVs scattered throughout the building, making it the ultimate location for sports fans.

To generate a buzz, an ‘Apres ski’ band from the Leeds College of Music will be a regular feature in the upstairs bar where DJs will also play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

In addition, The Strong Room – which features the electronic dart board and seats 40; and The Vault – a private bar that also seats 60; will both be available for private bookings.

Arc Inspirations CEO, Martin Wolstencroft, said: “We’re a forward thinking business that is tuned into the latest trends and consumer demands. We’re not wedded to a concept and have put considerable time, effort and investment in creating an experiential space that offers a little something for everyone. We’ve really focused on doing things a bit differently, with the aim of creating memorable experiences and moments that will drive footfall and loyalty throughout the year.”

Quality, consistency and simplicity are the key themes behind the food menu, which will feature Napoli pizza made using the finest double fermented dough, topped with quality ingredients, such as San Manzano tomatoes, which are grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, and Fior di latte fresh mozzarella made from cow’s milk.

In addition, the menu boasts premium burgers made from high quality chuck and fore rib, sourced from multi-award-winning butcher Lishmans of Ilkley. Those with a sweeter tooth can enjoy bubble waffles loaded with indulgent toppings.

To drive midweek lunch trade and cater for the workers in the immediate area, Arc has created a ‘Box Grab n Go’ concept which allows customers to pre-order food and pick it up at a time which suits them.

On the drinks front, the bar will feature Leeds’ first ever Budvar tank beer, bringing unpasteurised brewery-fresh beer, alongside premium draught lagers, as well as local Yorkshire craft beers and ciders. Also on tap, will be draught cocktails, including Pornstar and Espresso Martinis that have been mixed to a bespoke recipe devised by Arc’s bar development manager Mark Austin.

Martin added: “Quality, consistency and speed of service are key features of this evolved food and drink offer. Yes, pizza and burgers are a well-trodden path, but we have spent considerable time fine tuning these menu items and we’re delighted with the results. We will also be the very first in the UK to use an imported morello forni rotating bed pizza oven as well as a pizza former to create the perfect authentic Napoli pizza. Similarly on the drinks front, we’ve created bespoke cocktail recipes to be served fast on draught, alongside fresh tank beer.

“We’re an ambitious company that is confident in our brands and hungry to grow. Taking into consideration our two openings in Manchester, we will be launching three sites in around a month. This is a unique achievement given the challenging backdrop of the market, and testament to our strong sales, customer proposition and brand positioning.”

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