North East & Yorkshire

Get inspired

Arc Inspirations

Established in 1999, Arc Inspirations is a leading bar and hospitality specialist with a strong portfolio of venues in the North of England.

Arc Inspirations opened its first bar – The Arc in Headingley – in 2000 and continues to expand its business with approximately one new addition each year; including three in 2013.

Recent venues for Arc Inspirations include Banyan Bar & Kitchen on Little Stonegate, York; The Pit on Merrion Street, Leeds; and The Pit in Chapel Allerton. Banyan York opened its doors in July 2013, whilst The Pit Merrion Street made its debut in August and The Pit in Chapel Allerton followed in November.

Banyan York is housed in a 161 year old chapel and is the second Banyan bar to open for Arc Inspirations, following the Banyan Bar & Kitchen in Harrogate. Arc Inspirations invested £1 million in the construction and refurbishment of the building after the City of York Council gave the go ahead for the venture in December 2012.

Arc Inspirations

Banyan York caters for up to 212 covers and serves food from breakfast through to early evening meals, with the menu overseen by Executive Head Chef John Richold. Keen to retain many of the building’s original features, Banyan York showcases a stunning Listed staircase and galleried area, whilst new additions to the bar include a crafted Banyan tree sculpture and two superb bars.

Commenting on Banyan York, Managing Director of Arc Inspirations, Martin Wolstencroft, said:

“With some 7 million visitors to the city each year, its responsive resident and business community, and existing lively nightlife, we recognised that the city could provide us with a terrific opportunity for one of our award winning Arc Inspirations venues. However, we wanted the right building with something just a bit special so we had to wait until the right property became available. On Little Stonegate we are within an area of the city that boasts some superb independent bars and restaurants and Banyan York competes with some of the best in the city.”

Arc Inspiration followed Banyan York with The Pit Merrion Street, the company’s tenth bar and the first of its venues to hit Leeds city centre. Lending itself to Leeds’ industrial heritage, The Pit has a contemporary urban edge, backed by an American-inspired food menu and a selection of innovative cocktails.

Arc Inspirations

Martin, said:

“This area of Leeds is one of the best locations for independents – we’re not followers, we enjoy our independence and so do our customers. They want the best but also we want our customers to expect the unexpected. The Pit is very different to our other bars in Leeds, Harrogate and York, and we recognise that quality in everything we do is a must. The urban, contemporary look is no excuse for not being at the top of our game.”

Martin added:

“We want to enjoy the process of growing our portfolio but enjoy everything we do.”

KPP Leeds was the designer on The Pit Merrion Street, whilst Abrahams and Carlisle was the bar fit-out contractor. Oblong Furniture was responsible for the venue’s furniture and the lighting was completed by M&E Ltd.

Arc Inspirations

Commenting on The Pit’s design scheme, Richard Lockey of KPP Leeds, said:

“The inspiration for The Pit was to create a great unique basement bar experience, using simple bold design statements with great attention to detail. The first thing you see when entering the bar is a full height impressive feature wall with fun lettering stating ‘Mind Your Head’. We proposed a limited and considered palate of materials using where possible the original rich brickwork which we brought back to life. To add fun to the bar experience we added ‘The White Room’ as a private dining experience and ‘The Den’, home to two bespoke ping pong tables, with imaginative graphics on exposed brickwork walls. The whole concept really came together well – ‘Posh Urban Grunge’ we like to call it!”

Cocktails at The Pit Merrion Street have been designed in consultation with Declan Mcgurk, bar manager of London’s Savoy and include the Arc Inspirations’ Jam Jar cocktail, whilst a strong offering of craft beers include the Pit Canary, the Blue Moon and the Flying Dog.

Arc Inspirations

Building upon the success of The Pit Merrion Street and following a £450,000 investment, Arc Inspirations launched The Pit Chapel Allerton. The new bar is partially situated underground, increasing its floor space by two thirds and includes a state-of-the-art urban interior.

Standout features of The Pit Chapel Allerton include ten HD plasma screens and a handmade football table built by French craftsmen in Paris.

Commenting on the venue in Chapel Allerton, Martin said:

“The Chapel Allerton area is one of our favourite locations outside of the city centre. The Pit on Merrion Street set the benchmark and what we’ve achieved at this location we’re confident we can achieve in Chapel Allerton. We keep our standards just as high, whether it’s a city centre location or in the suburbs. We want people to feel both at home and inspired by their surroundings – why wouldn’t we want the best in everything?”

Arc Inspirations

With more projects on the horizon, there seems to be no stopping Arc Inspirations as it continues to create some of the most interesting and inspiring venues in the north.

For more information on Arc Inspirations, please visit:

 Oblong Furniture Ltd 

Oblong Furniture Ltd specialise in the source, design, procurement and installation of standard and bespoke furniture. The company is now celebrating its tenth year in the industry and within this time has worked with many prestigious names, from The University of Leeds and the University of Manchester, through to Subway, Holiday Inn and Pizza Express.

Working with Arc Inspirations, Oblong Furniture Ltd designs and manufactures bespoke furniture for the company’s sites, in addition to supplying Arc’s venues with standard loose furniture. To date, Oblong Furniture Ltd has supplied furniture to all of Arc Inspiration Ltd’s venues.

Oblong Furniture Ltd Director, Stuart Silverman, said:

“Arc Inspirations is a long standing client and we class them as business friends as well as clients. We have supplied loose furniture to all of Arc Inspiration’s projects and as they are a forward thinking company we can come up with solutions that can satisfy their requirements each time.”

Stuart added:

“At Oblong Furniture we pride ourselves on our personalised service and the ability to supply a quality solution to meet budgetary and quality needs.”

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