Historic market town Morley, situated in West Yorkshire, turned into a run-down high street over time. Even as covid made a hit on the retail and hospitality sector, Morley began to thrive and slowly became a social spot for all generations to enjoy.
Leeds City Council received a £750,000 grant to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and begin their long-term plans by developing green spaces, new businesses and pedestrianised streets. Only a few years ago was Morley a neglected town filled with charity shops, hairdressers and takeaways to keep the business scene of Morley alive. Now after a year of pandemics, lockdowns and restrictions, Morley is blooming into a town full of potential.
Funding from the government will be focused on improvements for Morley Bottoms, Queen Street, Scatcherd Park and Lewisham Park, developing new and exciting public spaces. A further bid was submitted for £25m for a Morley transformation plan. Which aims to improve infrastructure, transport services, tackling air quality challenges and refurbishments of the historic sites in the town.
And what better way to bring together the community than several bars and bistros. The tiny suburb of Leeds has finally reinvented themselves as a hidden drinking scene after filling up the empty units along the streets. You’re going to be absolutely spoilt for choice if you plan on having a quick drink or a night out in Morley from now on. Starting at the top of Queen Street, premium bar Eighteen90 are hosts in the heart of Morley, offering a fabulous selection of cocktails, food and wine. If you prefer having a drink ready and waiting for you, why not try the ‘Juice Bar’ 2.5 litre cocktail dispenser or a 12-drink tree! Only a few steps away down Queen Street you’ll find Different Gravy, Westy’s and Cucina’s.
Down at the regenerated Morley Bottoms, the junction is unrecognisable thanks to the independent bars taking over. With the new pedestrianised area, more outside seating is available as some of the bars are very small inside with limited seating. Oscars kick-started the revival of Morley’s drinking scene by opening first in Morley Bottoms. Since then, Prospect opened in 2018 opposite Oscars followed by Station Hop just a few doors down. Prospect quickly became the social drinking spot for all generations to enjoy, serving craft ales and street food in a laid-back and friendly setting. Other town favourite Station Hop supplies their punters with both locally sourced and European craft ales, the perfect spot for a summers day.
More and more bars followed behind and began their businesses in Morley Bottoms, including Bottle & Tap, Seven Hills and Resident slightly up Queens Street. Resident only opened in May of 2021, but their quirky decor and design got people through their doors and helped establish them amongst the other successful bars in Morley. Try out their monthly music quiz and grab a pint!
Independent bottle shop and tap room Beer Thirty on South Parade serves up locals a wide selection of beer, including a Jam Doughnut Pale Ale, Imperial Oat IPA and Chilli Lime Mango Sour brewed by Northern Monk. If you’re fancying a drink in Morley but struggling to get a table in the micro-bars, why not head to Tipsy Cow on Middleton Road only established in 2017. This funky bar in Morley regularly screens football matches, hosts events and involves local DJs.
With planning permission granted for another bar to be built in Morley, things can only go up from here!
Images: Oscars, Tipsy Cow, Beer Thirty, Prospect