Northern bar and club guru Aaron Mellor opens Whiskey Down gentlemen's lounge
Aaron Mellor, the bar and club guru behind 36 UK venues including Factory251, South and the newly opened Impossible bar and club in Manchester, has just expanded his nightlife empire by obtaining a rare SEV licence to open a new and 'unseedy' gentlemen's lounge.
Known locally (depending on your age) as either the Townhouse or Chilli Whites, the historic three-storey building behind the Corn Exchange in Leeds now has a new name, Whiskey Down - an 'immersive whiskey lounge and gentlemen's club'.
The new 600-capacity venue reopened last weekend following a one million pound investment by Mellor's Tokyo Industries - which also owns Stein Bier Keller and Tokyo bar in Oldham.
The new club is the culmination of an idea planted in Mellor’s brain two years ago, during a Halloween Party in the Playboy Mansion.
“There were all these photos of the sixties Playboy clubs in London, New York, Miami – they were so cool, classy, exclusive.” says Mellor. “The idea of a gentlemen’s club in 2017 has become a little jaded… almost seedy and clandestine."
Mellor says he was motivated to finally create his own modern homage to the traditional gentlemen's club due to a lack of late night options.
“We work in the late night industry and when we finish work there's only really a choice of strip clubs or casinos to get an after work drink, so we started to think about creating a space where great drinks, knowledgeable bar tenders and a better class of immersive entertainment could exist.”
But Mellor is keen to insist that those uninterested in the entertainment will also be catered for, with 'dancer-free zones' for those who just fancy a top-notch whiskey - with over 70 types of bourbon, scotch and rye ranging from £7 all the way up to one bottle valued at £10,000. There’s also a range of gins, plus premium vodka, craft beer, and champagne.
Whiskey Down is open now at 25 Crown Street, Leeds LS2 7DA (10pm-6am). For more information visit Tokyo Industries website