Mason and his team plan to open in spring 2024. Credit: JMA Photography

Whitelock’s owner takes on heritage Leeds asset

Ed Mason has acquired the 1775-built ‘third’ White Cloth Hall, just behind the Corn Exchange, and plans to open a food hall there early in 2024.

Mason is the co-founder of Five Points Brewery and the owner of the celebrated Whitelock’s Ale House off Briggate. He said the new venue will champion Leeds’ thriving independent food and drink scene.

Originally built in 1775 as a market for merchants to sell undyed or ‘white’ cloth, White Cloth Hall has hosted various Leeds businesses over the past 250 years.

Leeds’ First White Cloth Hall, dating to 1711, is now in the care of Rushbond, while the second Cloth Hall, built in the 1750s, only lasted 30 years – its cupola was transferred to the third hall.

The Whitelock’s team will take on all three existing units, which most recently housed Pizza Express, a BrewDog bar and a hairdressers, returning the premises to a single, unified space.

Mason and his team took over and relaunched Whitelock’s in 2012, famous as the oldest pub in Leeds, and most recently opened The Meanwood Tavern in 2022.

Aiming for a spring opening, White Cloth Hall is open to expressions of interest from local independent food and drink traders.

Mason said: “This is such a beautiful and iconic building – we’re really excited about taking it over. At Whitelock’s we celebrate and support local independent breweries and food and drink suppliers – and we’re looking forward to doing the same at White Cloth Hall, on an even bigger scale.”

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