The people behind Kirkstall Brewery and Whitelock’s Ale House are taking on The Victoria & Commercial Pub on Great George Street, pledging to revive and restore this famous Grade II-listed pub to its former glory.
Located behind Leeds Town Hall, the historic ‘Victoria Family & Commercial Hotel’ is one of Leeds’ most enduring and well-loved Victorian buildings, first opened in 1865. Whilst the upper floors of The Victoria Hotel and the neighbouring Shenanigans Irish Pub are being redeveloped into student accommodation, the legendary pub itself is being left intact.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to preserve an icon of Leeds pub history,” said Steve Holt, founder of Kirkstall Brewery. “Our own pedigree of restoring historic pubs, such as The Cardigan Arms and The Kirkstall Bridge Inn, puts us in good stead for this project. Additionally, the chance to take on one of the most beautiful pubs in the city in partnership with Whitelock’s, Leeds’ oldest pub, was one we simply couldn’t pass up.”
Ed Mason, Whitelock’s Managing Director and the co-founder of The Five Points Brewing Company, is equally enthusiastic about the project. “We’ve had a close partnership with Steve and his team at Kirkstall Brewery for a long time, and we love their pubs, so when the opportunity came along to join forces it felt like a natural next step. And at a time when so many pubs are being lost, we are delighted to be able to work with the developer to ensure that this beautiful Victorian pub is preserved for future generations.”
As well as restoring the pub’s celebrated traditional interior, Kirkstall and Whitelock’s will also be installing a brand-new kitchen, and upgrading the beer dispense equipment throughout the pub. The Victoria & Commercial Pub is planned to reopen in September 2024, and more details will be forthcoming in due course.