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The Hedonist Project - Trader Dan’s Surf Shack.


Sun, sea, sand and surf - four things not normally associated with Leeds - until now. Yes, late June will see Lower Briggate wave goodbye to Old Tom’s Gin Kitchen and say aloha to Trader Dan’s Surf Shack; a rum bar set to be the backdrop to your summer in the city. Bruce Lerman explains the reason for bringing a rum concept back to The Hedonist Project.

'After the success of the Rum Shack last year we took note that Leeds really does love rum. This year we wanted to try and do something a little bit different to the Rum Shack and Trader Dan's Surf Shack was born. For this concept we are joining California with Hawaii to create a lazy easy going environment. Along with the hook up from Quiksilver to make sure we are in check with our clothing. Along with the fantastic; Appleton Estate, Wray & Nephew and Gosling's Rum as our liquid support. This summer is shaping up to be all things rum!'

Yet another ingenious concept from The Hedonist Project, you’re invited to drop in, pull in and kick out in a setting where eclectic party tunes promise to bring back nineties and early noughties nostalgia – think Naughty by Nature, Papa Roach, Chuck D and the Dub Pistols.

Surf super-brand sponsors, Quiksilver, are working closely with the lads to bring a slice of California to Yorkshire’s most prolific town with an interior design treatment that’s completely authentic and in tune with the relaxed holiday, good vibes only ambience.


A ting or two...

The Hedonist Project have also hooked up with two premium rum brands to guarantee a drink selection that’s second-to-none. Jamaican based Appleton Estate definitely know a ting or two when it comes to liquor, with over 265 years of experience under their belt, whilst Gosling have been shipping their Black Seal Rum from Bermuda since 1806.

Never ones to imitate, Bruce, Dan and Tom have outdone themselves to bring you a cocktail menu that’s packed with originality and flavour combo’s you’ve never had before. The ridiculously good Corn & Oil blends rum with a homemade velvet falernum (a tasty lime laced sugar cane liquor) and is served up in an incense smoked glass.


Boneyard Zombie - credit Justin Gardner

A fiery hurricane…

The awesome Fruity Mai Tai spins fresh fruit and blossom Rooibos Tea into the mix for a creation that can best be described as summer in a glass. If you’re feeling hot, hot, hot, then turn up the heat a notch further with the Fiery Hurricane, which boasts a long-lost syrup that the lads managed to unearth from the Tiki World.

Just one sip of the incredible Peanut Butter Jelly Time and you’ll be up on the bar doing a Truffle Shuffle that would put Chunk to shame – no prizes for guessing the ingredients of this tipple which is set to become the stuff of legends.

Crab shack cakes with homemade sweet chilli sauce, lime & chilli spring onion slad  - credit Justin

Sharing is caring…

The food menu is just as radical and designed to complement the drinks list and surf theme, with strong Caribbean and Polynesian influences running throughout. Mains include a spicy Tilapia fish curry, homemade crab cakes and chicken wings cooked with plum in a rum and orange peel sauce.

Highlights from the sharing plates and finger food snack menu include the moreish beef brisket croquettes, padron peppers and sweet potato fries.
Trader Dan’s Surf Shack is The Hedonist Projects fifth consecutive pop-up bar in a row and the third to reside at their now-permanent home at 156 Lower Briggate

Jamaican me crazy…

Plans for a Jamaican Independence Day Weekender are under construction as we speak; expect DJ’s, food and a not-to-be-missed after party at a secret location.
Also on the cards is a hedonistic celebration of Bermuda’s Independence Day, as well as Leeds very first Rum Safari, which will take you on a bodacious bar crawl of the city’s finest rum joints.

So, what are you waiting for? Dust off your grass skirt, pack your Hawaiian shorts, wax down your board and get on down to get up.

Bergeron's Blossom Punch - credit Justin Gardner