Bristol-based pie company Pieminister aims to open its “most ambitious project to date” in Leeds at the end of April following a £300,000 refurbishment. 

The site, which will the company’s ninth, is a third bigger than all previous ventures undertaken by Pieminister, measuring 300,000sq ft with 120 seats. The space, near the Corn Exchange and Trinity University, is “a complete bomb site” and will undergo a refurbishment “from the ground up”.

The site will offer an extended pie, snacks and drinks menu, as well as alcohol with pie-themed cocktails on offer, such as lemon meringue pie. A new collection of free-range snacks is currently on trial in Bristol, before launching at the Leeds site, including pork scratchings, potted pork and pickled eggs.

The venue will serve food from 10am to 1am in an attempt to meet demand.

Jon Simon, joint founder, said: “The restaurants are going really well. It is really exciting for us to be doing this and every store we open gets busier and busier. This one is by far our most ambitious project to date. It is over two floors and has a lot more seats than ever before. As seen in previous restaurants, people can’t get seats as it is too busy.”

In November, food consultancy Horizons highlights Pieminister as one to watch and it continues to perform well, with restaurant business total sales up 45%.

Future plans

Simon confirmed that the company, jointly founded with Tristan Hogg, is looking for more sites in locations including Liverpool, a second site in Manchester and London. “We do demographic mapping to see where the best cities for us are,” said Simon.

“These big cities where students are tend to be good places. The students help, but the cities tend to be a bit more vibrant. London is definitely a target for us and, as soon as we find the right site, we’ll be in.” In terms of the capital, Simon is looking for sites “where the cool kids are”, such as Brixton, Hackney and Shoreditch.

Pieminister recently held a #PieElection to coincide with British Pie Week (2 to 8 March), which allowed consumers to vote for their favourite discontinued pie. The Minty Lamb won and there will be further pie specials coming out for summer.