The Corn Exchange
Leeds LS1 7BR
Thankfully the guys at iMale fitted me in on Friday last minute as appointments were hard to come by, seemed like a very busy week-month at this highly recommended barbers. A chap called Mikey did a fantastic job of my Barnett and even suggested a finely shaved in parting, which is looking sharp by the way.
I think the hectic welcoming atmosphere and great sense of humour by all the staff, really made my visit to this already well established barbers.
I might have been looking through rose-coloured glasses when I visited here the other day (the last time was probably over ten years ago), but I was pretty disappointed with the offerings from the small number of retailers. Back then there were loads of shops selling all manner of quirky items.
I have to say though that it looked to have been totally refurbished inside and it's stunning, look up at the ceiling and you would think you're stood inside a Zeppelin airship. A couple of sweeping staircases and you can wander round the upper level (albeit past mostly empty units).
Perhaps it was hit hard by the recession, perhaps its location slightly separated from the main shopping centres means it doesn't get the footfall of shoppers. On your approach you wouldn't really know that there were any shops inside, there are no signs or banners nearby drawing the punters in. It could be so much better, but it needs to get a pulse and have some life blown into it first.
Almost didn't visit this site because I wasn't clear as to what it was. Note to Leeds Tourism officials - promote this place!
Building is very unique with a very open, multi story center topped with dome. Retail shops and services line the perimeter (is that the correct term for a circle? should it be circumference or something else) of the space with seating and a coffee/tea vendor on the main level with lots of comfy seating.
The retail is very eclectic (a high end milliner who seems to specialize in wedding headgear, a women's clothier specializing in looks from the 1940s and 1950s) but fairly limited. Lots of empty store spaces - but again, if tourism officials would identify this as retail in a classic, restored building there may be more foot traffic.
I would not describe this as bargain shopping but if you need something unique, one of a kind or quirky, you may just find it here.
Ok, so it's redemption time! This update has been pretty long over-due, so I'll get on with telling you why. Number one, I've had a few really great experiences with the Anthony's crew downstairs since my last review. I had a gorgeous meal, accompanied by friendly staff, which was just lovely. I then picked up the most delicious and addictive birthday cake from their bakery section which changed my life, in terms of cheesecake. Totally reset the scale on those bad boys.
Secondly, yes it's true, the shops are coming back! After the slow but steady influx of businesses this place is returning to the former glory that once it was, as one of Leeds' finest places for independent finery. Some of the old favourites have remained, some have returned and some new ones have infiltrated making this glorious building hot on the hitlist for shopping once again! Not to mention the awesome one-off events, such as Judy's Vintage Pop Up Shop and the upcoming BettaKultcha event that will soon be upon us...
Either way, we might not forget, but we can certainly forgive and The Corn Exchange is back. Or, at least, it's getting there. Definitely pop in sometime soon for a browse, a bite and a bloomin' good couple of hours.
I used to visit Leeds regularly as a child, having family living here, but over the past 10 years I've not been back much. One of my favourite places as a child was the Corn Exchange, I remember it as an indoor version of Camden Market only smaller, better and less chaotic. It certainly looks posher than I remember and I'm not sure how many of these shops I could want to visit either as a child or an adult, they all seem a bit posh. The food outlets were also rather pricey.
The building itself is still stunning however but in the week before Christmas I expected this place to be busier than it was.
My first trip to Leeds and having read some of these reviews I was a bit scared I'd find an old crumbling carcass of a place with no soul...apparently it has changed quite a bit since a number of these reviews were written!
The space, the light, the architecture, what a place! I am a little bemused as to how there is so much space inside what seems to be quite a modest building from the outside. I am convinced it took me at least twice as long to walk around the inside upper balcony than it did on the outside - that's not possible right?? Please tell me there is something magical going on here, some David Copperfield jiggery pokery?
I was also lucky enough to see the whole room when the lights go out, make sure you hang around for this if you are here in the evening. The whole roof lights up with little fairy lights making it look like a starry sky, if not a very organised and regimented starry sky as the lights are all in rows...but you get the picture.
It seems the independent shops/stalls here are going through a bit of a revival and there are a number of cool outlets. Was almost tempted to try out iMale male grooming and have my hair 'styled', but those that know me understand that a basic haircut is enough to scare the living bejesus out of me so I passed, and had a hotdog at Primo instead :)
The Corn Exchange is a lovely building and reminded me a lot of the Triangle shopping centre in our fair Manchester; an interesting building with a lot of buzz around it but, inside, it sadly feels a bit empty. The Corn Exchange is definitley ahead of the Triangle in terms of trend appeal, with a few vintage stores and a gourmet hotdog place, the connection to the city centre is lost. It's a shame - this building is gorgeous and feels very grand. The restaurant at the bottom felt a bit dark and gloomy for the summer weather we were lucky to have but I can imagine it would feel lovely and tucked away during the winter months. Shops are small but perfectly formed but, sadly, just don't seem to have the footfall.
I hope the building keeps gaining public knowledge and custom as it would be a shame to see it fall to rack and ruin. Plus I quite fancy a gourmet hot dog.
Having survived difficult times and bad management decisions the corn exchange is now retaking it's place as one of the top landmarks of Leeds. The famous exterior houses a wonderful and eclectic group of small businesses which are, in the main, bargainicious but housed in a setting which made me feel as though I was far richer than I am.
I got the feeling that the businesses here are taking their first step and it wouldn't surprise me if the Corn Exchange becomes a launch pad for some great stuff.
The only down side is that there are one or two empty units and they put me in mind of an old and badly maintained church hall (sorry if that makes no sense)
Well Manchester Triangle, you've got some competition over Yorkshire way! Both former Corn Exchanges, this one has kept its name, but there's a similar theme. Converted into highbrow shopping centres peppered with lovely restaurants and hosts to cool local events, it seems our sister city has something equally beautiful to visit right at the heart of its city centre.
I came here to help out with Row's amazing event, and I was pleased to find it pretty much seconds away from the train station. It was a lovely place to spend the best part of the day. Between Primo's gourmet hotdog joint and the posh-looking restaurant taking up the basement floor, the eating here's certainly good, and there's a wide variety of shops to browse around too. It's recently been refurbed and is certainly looking its best for Christmas - the Yuletide tree's just lovely! Plus there's free password-less wifi all over the shop.
No visit to Leeds would be complete without a Corn Exchange look-in, and I certainly plan to stop here next time I'm in the neighbourhood. Lovely jubbly.
I am sure I have tackled this issue in the review of Anthony's Piazza, but I feel it an important thing to re-tackle in a review of the Corn Exchange as a seperate entity.
The Corn Exchange was once a beautiful building, and although from the exterior it still very much is, the inside- full of quirk and independent shops, as well as stalls and smaller businesses is now a distant memory of happier times.. I can't help but wonder what has happened to these real shops full of real people who were inevitably forced to relocate due to the recent developments and changes. No doubt the majority now exist only on the internet, making their beautiful displays of tangiable stock defunct, now forced to apear as a Jpeg on a site that is seen nowhere near as much as the real shop, the real shop that brought so much joy to the hoards who used to wonder the levels of the Corn Exchange.
I can only end this with the glimmer of hope in what Rowena has mentioned, shops moving back in to the upper levels. is it possible that the big wigs have finally realised the error in their ways and recognised the massive waste of space in the redundant shops looking down from above at Anthony's? I sincerely hope so and wait with baited breath.
This place is a must visit for serious shopaholics. It has such a variety of different shops and stalls that you could spend a day here quite easily. Something for everyone, and I don't like shopping - I'm a man!
Updated: This is desecration! One of my favourite shopping places and they've taken out the shops - where's the sense in that? I can only hope that they are planning on refilling this wonderful building with more interesting shops - as it used to be, in fact.
When you have people visiting, you take them to the Corn Exchange, because it's not like anywhere else. And there are trinkets and postcards and funky things for them to buy and take home as souvenirs.
I can't stomach it more than a couple of times a year though because of all the emos and mini-goths parading around the entrance. How very original they all are.
Really good idea. Restaurant down stairs, shops on the other floors. Boutique shops. Bought a Banksy canvas for £20.
Check it out
Hmmmm listened to your reviews, went to see for myself. Does this place only open on certain days? It all looked pretty shut bar two shops on a Monday?
Lovely building though.
EDIT: Apparently the Corn Exchange I knew and loved is no longer! All the cool shops have been replaced with a food hall. So the review below is a little out of date! :
If consider yourself in any way Alternative, Emo, Goth or Indie then you should definitely visit the corn exchange if you are anywhere near Leeds. The building is amazing and the inside has been transformed from it's former life as a Corn Exchange (funny that!) to a load of fantastic little indie shops selling a great range of clothing, gifts and novelties.
I have bought several items from there in the past, al have been of great quality and a refreshing change from the usual junk you get in regular chain shops.
Everyone is really friendly and the place has a great atmosphere.
This place used to be great and full of interesting shops! Now it's been taken over and currently being refurbished. I'm disapointed that it's going to be turned into a food emporium!
Bring back the Old Corn Exchange!
Worth a visit if you're in Leeds. Interesting architecture and a good range of alternative shops, make a refreshing change from the usual bland high street atmosphere of many city shopping areas.
There is a good cafe and bar in the basement
The corn exchange used to be the heart of Leeds with it's collection of small, alternative shops where you could always find something that little bit different from the same old stuff on the highstreet. But alas the corn exchange as we used to know it is no more and has been turned into an upmarket foodhall. God knows why, greedy building owners methinks!
The surrounding streets still have a few secondhand/alternative shops on them but the corn exchange was definitely the jewel in the crown and now that's changed beyond recognition Leeds just doesn't offer me the same shopping experience anymore. I'd rather go to Manchester to shop, if I wanted food I'd go to McDs!
The Corn Exchange. The Beloved Corn Exchange. What happened? Once upon a time you were so good. You were a jewel in the crown of this West Yorkshire City. You were packed to the brim, full of colour and life and quirk. You were an attraction, a paradox, a contrast, a metaphor. In your old and beautiful carcass you housed the contemporary, the alternative, the colourful and the unique. You were busy and full of custom and appreciation, and your sole purpose wasn't for that of photo opportunities from non locals to the area. What happened oh beloved Corn Exchange? Where did your soul go? And when the hell is it coming back? You were once the main attraction, and your walkways were jammed with locals and tourists alike, all clamouring to taste the depth of variety and niche you offered. Who decided to make you smell like food?
All drama aside, whatever happened to the Corn Exchange over recent years really is sacrilegious. When I first started shopping in Leeds I used to love visiting the Corn Exchange, distinguishable by its grand rotund architecture, topped off with the domed roof, and that was just the impression it made from the outside. Walking inside the glorious building was another matter altogether, the size and scale of the building really was breathtaking, and the only plus I can see from the massacre of all business within the Corn Exchange is the appreciation of the size, scale and craftsmanship of that beautiful building, especially the roof. Word on the grapevine is sense has been restored and businesses are slowly but surely returning to the Corn Exchange, however, I haven't seen any real movement in this area for a long long time. The restaurant on the lower level is the main attraction nowadays, which is both sad and depressing, as it just isn't meant to be like that. It's not a building for fine dining it's a building made for hustle and bustle and when it returns, we will all be happy. However in its current state, no matter how much I love this place, it cannot be rated above the two stars I begrudgingly bestow it. Hope aside, when the initiative is taken to restore this beauty to its former glory, I have my five stars waiting.
Corn Exchange is like Leeds' answr to Camden Market in London, except it has its own unique feel. Each retailer adds something fresh, funky, orginal and personal to the mix, from clubbing gear to beads to wear. You can even grab a coffee on the ground floor and look up in wonder at such a cool building, but watch out for skateboarding kids on the way out. As the Alternative hub, it can attract underage wannabe rock stars who chat all day long on a Saturday.
All the reviews here say that the corn exchange is popular for goths, emos and alternative shops, but no more! It only has 2 shops in it, the others have been turfed out to make way for a 'foodie' corn exchange with posh wine and nibbles and things. It's had a lot of money spent on it, but whilst it remains near-empty it is not somewhere I visit as a resident of the city centre. I think they have killed the vibe a bit as it is a shadow of it's former self and I will be interested to see how they pull it back (I will go for dinner there once the new restaurant opens). At the moment it is a bit of an empty shell, let's see what the future brings.
One of the most beautiful buildings in Leeds but with very little in it. Initially I must admit I wasn't terribly enamoured with the shops that the building contained and a refurb of the sort of businesses inside seemed a decent move. But mow there is next to nothing and it's a real waste of a prime space. Having some shops in there is surely better than having the place close to deserted!
I really liked the place though it seems that it used to be much better. I like the idea to have lots of different small nice foods shop such as bakery, cake, chocolate, deli etc. It is rather expensive but very nice to browse. I went to deli and got a beautiful pink grapefruit marmalade. I normally do not like the marmalade but this is the one I really enjoyed it all the time. If you are looking for some nice foods, this is good place to go. I also love the cafe, they sell some sweets from the shop but i think a cuppa for nearly 3 pounds are far too expensive for the shop.
Where have all the shops gone!!!
This used to be an excellent place for a coffee, chat and a shop - now it's completely empty, apart from the cafe, so there's just no point in going. Such a shame, as the building is amazing
If I ever need a wacky gift I head straight for the corn exchange. It is a really cool old dome-shaped building full of weird and wonderful stores. On particular days it has lots of little stalls in it which are always really fun to look at.
You can have a drink and a snack in there and everything is very 'one of a kind.'
A great building, but the shops are a little weird - good for comic books though. Currently going through a refurb so seems a bit chaotic.
This used to be a really good place to go for all the goth and punk and alternative clothes but slowly and surely they have all closed and now its a shell of what it used to be. Everyone used to come from allover just to shop in the corn exchange because it was famous for the gothness, etc. Now the exchange is full of food shops and a big food court but to me they arent using it to the best advantage. Bring back the clothes shops. There is one shop left selling a bit of tat and thats it. The corn exchange is a lovely old building full of character and the original features. You can now sit on the top floor and look over the balcony at the food court and it is a marvelous view. If you look up at the ceiling the architecture and design is gorgeous. Lovely and spacious but needs some life putting back into it.
This is a place full of unusual shops, it's fab. You can find pretty much something to suit everyone in this place. It's situated next to Leeds indoor market so it's quite central. It has a lot of nice coffee shops and cafes, so it's good place to shop and chill out.
The Corn Exchange offers lots of little boutique-style shops within -what feels like - one big shop, because of its circular and open stance. Its great for alternative-style clothing and also handy for nice costume jewellery pieces. Its a nice old building that has retained its original features and is definatley worth a visit - even if just for a nice leasurely browse.
The Corn Exchange is brilliant, it's full of different types of shops, with something for everyone.
There are always a lot of handmade stalls, that change over during the months. There's a cafe on the lowest floor, which serves coffee and light meals and is very good.
There are usually a large amount of emo's and wannabe-goths hanging around outside, but they're not too distracting.
The architecture of the building is incredible, if nothing else, you should go to see just this.
This was a great place before the shops were chucked out. Now it's just a nice building.
If you are looking for something a bit different than the regular high street shop the corn exchange is a good place to head. At the bottom of Leeds City Centre in a big circular old building is a collection of small independent shops which sell a large range of things. There are a few clothes shops, a few stalls, some art shops and shops selling weird and wonderful things. There is also a couple of places to eat. It has a beautiful celling inside. A good place to support independent shops. Quite relaxing and all inside so nice and warm too.
this place was the heart of leeds. WAS! was the place you could go when you had no idea what to buy somebody for Xmas. You could always find something.. even if you had no intention of buying something, walking out of that place with nothing was a hard task to do.
Prior to my much anticipated visit on 24th., i did a reccie yesterday at 3pm,to see how it had changed since my last visit a few years ago. It looks beautiful and was decorated for Christmas which was nice. I decided to have something to eat at the main restaurant but there was a rope across what i took to be the entrance so i wondered if it was still open. I hailed a passing waitress, sorry, waitsperson, and said i wanted something light so could i get a sandwich. She looked at me as if i'd broken wind and told me if thats all i wanted i should go to the cafe and waved me away. Good start. I went to the cafe and went to the counter to order something and was told to sit down and a waitress would attend to me. I ordered a beef sandwich on brown bread and a pot of tea. It was lovely with lots of beef with salad and horseradish sauce with a little wispy side salad. The tea was ok but a bit weak. I asked the waitress, a little foreign person, what time the main restaurant closed and she said, 11 oclock. I said, so its not actually open for lunch and she said Keh?. i said is it not open all day and she said yes. I said, do you have to book, again Keh?. Do you have to make a reservation?. Oh yes especially at weekends. Glad i got that sorted out. I then asked her if the cafe made their own bread and she said, we have bread in the shop. I said, do you cook it yourseves, Keh? Do you bake it in the oven? She said, You want olive bread? I wanted to ask a few more questions but i didnt want to miss Emmerdale. The sandwich was lovely but a tad expensive, the bill came to nearly 8 quid. I left a tip in the hope that the waitress might be saving up for English lessons. It was lovely to see so many interesting shops and i bet that on a busy day the atmosphere would be great. Two shops caught my eye, Get a better body and Dirty Girl. I wondered whether to get a better body first then go and get a dirty girl or, get a dirty girl first whereas i might need a better body, decisions decisions.
The corn exchange is a great little place to head down for shopping or just to chill as there are cafes you can have a coffee or just chill with your friends. This does tend to cater for your more arty, border, funky type of trend compared to your normal shopping centre. It is not just clothes, but you can get art and posters so it is a more about being unique than conforming to the main street store. However it has become more known over the last few years so has kind of lost its unique vibe it once had but still very good.
The Corn exchange is one of those few places left that strongly encourages, creative entrepenurship. Not one fashion item looked the same. They were all unique and beautiful. Great place for fashion shoot
The Corn Exchange is a large dome full of unusual shops and stalls. It is a really cool place to hang out and have a shop in.
Really love this place, fab shops, places to eat, lovely atmosphere, lots going on.loving the Christmas tree!!!!!!!!!
evry1 must hav been ere its big and has loads of shops
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