Start Spreading the News – New York Inspired Restaurant & Bar Announced for Leeds Arena Quarter

21st January 2019

• The Merrion Centre has been selected as the location of Leeds first New York City inspired restaurant and bar, Union Square

• Owned and operated by the award-winning team behind Simpatico Pizza in The Queens Arcade

• The restaurant will open in February 2019


The Merrion Centre is continuing its winning streak as one of the top choices for international and niche eateries in Leeds as a unique fresh food and drink concept, Union Square, has selected it as the location for its founding restaurant.
The masterminds behind the highly successful Simpatico Pizza in The Queens Arcade – Nick Julian and Jordan Franz – will open the New York City inspired casual restaurant located on Merrion Way in February 2019.

The first of its kind in the city, Union Square will offer a wide range of food centred around the culinary mixing pot that is the ‘Big Apple’. A premium casual restaurant and bar with space for 80 diners plus outside seating, it will be home to a substantial ‘grab and go’ food offering during the day serving the likes of fresh salad, burgers, wraps and giant fresh slices of pizza! At night, as the lights go down the music will go up, transforming it into a bustling bar to rival the best of Broadway, which sets to entice those visiting the first direct arena directly opposite and the abundance of venues within the immediate vicinity.

Creating 12 jobs, it is set to further add to the growing mix of food and drink destinations in the Arena Quarter by joining a host of other popular evening entertainment and dining venues including the recently announced Chatime, Arnold’s Restaurant & Bar, Tenpin Bowling alley, Blue Sakura and PRYZM Nightclub amongst others.

The location choice by Union Square’s management team, who recently won the “Innovative Food to go award” at the coveted Papa (Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association) awards in London, reflects the success of the owners of the Merrion Centre, Town Centre Securities (TCS), who continue to transform the Arena Quarter which attracts a wide range of standout eateries and bars and ensures there is something for every palate and budget.

Nick Julian, Managing Director of Simpatico Restaurants said: “The Merrion Centre has been heavily invested in across recent years, attracting a variety of successful daytime and evening venues including MyThai and Bengal Brasserie. We are confident Union Square will further complement the vibrant Arena Quarter as it continues to thrive with the abundant new student accommodation and office space in the pipeline. This will give us direct access to a diverse mix of customers who we look forward to introducing to our new daily fresh food and drink concept, whilst also giving concert goers a quality evening offering a stone’s throw from the 13.5k capacity first direct arena.”

Hattie Ramsden, Asset Manager for TCS, said: “We’re resolutely committed to expanding both our customer base and the variety of food and drink available at the Merrion Centre, Nick and his team have a tremendous track record of delivering modern, popular dining concepts here in Leeds and we are thrilled he has chosen Merrion Way for Union Square. We are confident that this new venue will prove to be a popular addition and will continue to cement the Arena Quarter’s position as a key leisure destination in the heart of Leeds.”

Union Square will be located on Merrion Way opposite Costa Coffee and is set to open in February 2019.