Independent wine and spirits merchant Latitude opened the doors to its new location today (May 8) as the owner looks to adopt a hybrid business model.

Located at 46 The Calls in Leeds, the new shop opened this morning after Latitude owners decided to end the previous store’s lease. Latitude was originally located minutes from the new location in a railway arch, where it was based for 16 years.

Speaking to Drinks Retailing, Latitude founder Chris Hill explained that the move will allow the business to become a shop/bar hybrid. 

“Leeds has always had a really healthy bar and restaurant scene, so I’ve always had in the back of my mind that it would be really nice to be able to serve customers on site. But the railway arch only ever afforded us an off-premise licence and just about enough space to show our range.

“We had to actually apply for a planning application in order to get the licence for the new site and we also had to commit to serving a cheese and charcuterie menu, but we’re really looking forward to it.”

Hill said that the premises has around three times the floor space of the original site, and will house around 3,000 products. 

“The space naturally splits into two areas, so we’ve got the retail area and then the seated area at the back. And we’ve filled every wall with shelves because we can’t miss an opportunity to create more space for products.”

Now that the shop has opened, Hill said the bar aspect of the site will “soft launch this weekend before building up the service over the next couple of weeks”. 

“I’ve opened bars and restaurants before,” he said. “And this space just seems to be the right fit for the business. It’s got a really nice atmosphere.”