Marco Pierre White returns home to open first-ever Leeds restaurant


Leeds-born celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has announced plans to open his first-ever restaurant in Leeds at the Merrion Centre.

Planning permission has been lodged with Leeds City Council today after Town Centre Securities (TCS) approved franchise agreements for the Ibis Styles hotel with AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator and Black & White Hospitality, which owns the Marco’s New York Italian brand.

The Merrion Hotel closed over 2 years ago and will soon be regenerated into a unique but recognisable style that the franchise currently brings to hotel residents all around the world.

Marco’s New York Italian will be on the ground floor of the new 134-room hotel, a new build development on the site of the former Merrion Hotel, due to open in December 2016. The restaurant’s menu will reflect the chef’s Italian heritage and his love of classic American dishes.

Edward Ziff, chief executive and chairman of Town Centre Securities said, “We are delighted that Marco Pierre White’s first restaurant in Leeds is going to be at the Merrion Centre and the hotel will be operating under the Ibis Styles brand. The Merrion Centre is in the heart of The Arena Quarter which is rapidly becoming a popular destination with restaurants, bars and the first direct Arena, we are very excited to welcome a top restaurant and hotel to the offering.”

Marco Pierre White was born in Leeds in 1961 and attended Allerton High School. He began his culinary training at the city’s Hotel Metropole and the Box Tree in Ilkley before moving to London at the age of 16, where he worked for the likes of Albert and Michel Roux, Pierre Koffman and Raymond Blanc and became the youngest chef to earn three Michelin stars

Speaking at the launch of his new restaurant in London this week, he remarked: “It’s great to be coming home to Leeds, what more is there to say?”

Nick Taplin, chief executive at Black & White Hospitality, said: “Eating out should be as much about the experience and atmosphere as it is about the food. People spending their hard earned money in our restaurant deserve to have a good time as well as a good meal. We want to offer quality to everybody, at every price point, as the future of dining is affordable glamour.

“We have been eager to make our move into the city for some time, but it was crucial that we found the right partner to take the restaurant forward. Returning home to Leeds will be a special moment for Marco and we hope our guests will feel it was worth the wait.”

The hotel and restaurant will both be managed by Interstate on behalf of TCS, who will retain the ownership of both properties.