A former soap factory has been turned into Leeds's newest eaterie

Opening its doors for the first time, ‘The Soap Factory’ is a design-led eatery and cocktail bar located centrally on Whitehall Quay. Open from 8am until 12am daily, it’s a great place to drop in and have a coffee or lunch with colleagues, or somewhere to sip tantalising cocktails with friends on a Saturday night.

With clean lines, luxurious leather couches and wooden floors, the interior has been designed as a chic, minimalist and open environment. Stylish oversized soap bubbles can be seen against the stone coloured concrete walls. The large glass panels make way for an abundance of natural light in the daytime, whilst in the evening the glowing fire offers a warm and inviting ambience.

Sure to be a firm favourite with locals and visitors to the city alike, the heart and soul of The Soap Factory takes inspiration from legendary local entrepreneur Joseph Watson of Watson & Sons and his Whitehall Soap Works. Located at 9 Whitehall Road, just a stone’s throw from Whitehall Quay, ‘Soapy Joe’s’ functioned as one of the largest soap manufacturers in England. Everything about the venue — from its interior design to its mouth-watering menu — takes inspiration from the original Soap works’ rich history.

A British menu with a twist from Head Chef, Richard Banks, is on offer, made with local ingredients. Guests can look forward to starting with ‘Pickin’ Lickin’ Chicken Wings’, ‘Tempura Prawns’ or ‘Pulled Ham Bonbons’. Main courses include a delicious ‘Steak Bomb’ served with caramelised onions and mustard mayo on a ciabatta. For a lighter option a ‘Julius & Joe’s Salad’ may tempt, combining cos lettuce, anchovies, croutons and a delicious Caesar dressing. A range of ‘Factory Burgers’ will hit the spot, including the ‘Soapy Joe’ — a double whammy of beef patties, smoked bacon, Yorkshire cheddar, caramelised onions, a fried egg and salad. If you’re still hungry, a range of filling sides including ‘Curried Cowboy Beans’ or ‘Sweet Potato Fries’ will complement your meal.

Guests can sample a wide range of beers, hand-picked wines and exquisite spirits, as well as premium soft drinks. Choose from one of the signature handcrafted cocktails and recline in a dark brown leather sofa by the fire. Made with fresh ingredients, superior mixers and premium spirits, The Soap Factory’s concoctions are bound to get your taste buds tingling! Enjoy a classic Espresso Martini made from a mix of smooth-tasting coffee and sweet liqueur — the perfect pick me up. The Soap Factory signature cocktail will be revealed at the grand opening on Thursday 9th March.

Ludovic & Baz, The Soap Factory Managers, commented, “The Soap Factory has a historic connection to Leeds and the new venue and menu has taken inspiration from this. We are proud to celebrate Soapy Joe’s past, both through magnificent design and an inspired menu. This venue offers something truly unique and we cannot wait to welcome local residents and travellers alike. We’re sure that The Soap Factory will become a key part of Leeds’ food and drink scene.’


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