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Want to work at The New Conservatory?

The New Conservatory are hiring! Want to work for one of the city’s friendliest restaurants? Just pop in or get in touch here.

Here’s who you’d be working with!


Lee Wilkinson – General Manager

The New Conservatory is a historical bar in Leeds, serving customers a great range of food and drink. We’ve met up with Lee Wilkinson, their General Manager, to find out the secret to their success.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you’ve got into this position?

I’m the General Manager at The New Conservatory and I’ve worked in bars and restaurants around Leeds city centre most of my working life which is about 22 years.

What would you say makes The New Conservatory so unique?

One of the reasons I wanted to work here is that it’s a truly independent, one of a kind bar and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else. The building itself is beautiful and the owner gives us the opportunity to get a bit creative with the place and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with the place so far!
We’ve also got the library area which is pretty special with lots of old books that have been there for years and any that we sell, we replace them with books bought from charity shops.

Why do you think The New Conservatory is so successful?

The guests, and the characters. We’ve got so many people that regularly come back here, to the point where the staff can set their watches by them, and we ask a lot of them for opinions on how we can change the place.

All the staff here have fun doing what we do too; working with the team at the moment is like working with family because we’re so close-knit.

In your opinion, what’s your favourite thing about Leeds?

The variety. I’ve seen Leeds develop and grow over the years and there’s really something for everyone in the city. For example, there’s always new bars, restaurants and events happening and we try to fit in with that. We do an open-mic night on a Thursday and the standard is actually really good and everyone always has a really good night.


teddyTeddy Duffield – Assistant Manager

We also spoke to Teddy, the Assistant Manager at The New Conservatory about his favourite food on the menu, what gives him the most job satisfaction and his thoughts on why the bar is so popular in Leeds.

Tell us a little bit about your role at The New Conservatory.

I’ve worked here for five years now, I’ve been Assistant Manager for three years, and previously to that, I worked in other bars around town.

Why do you think The New Conservatory attracts so many people to come down and try it out?

I think there’s lots of reasons to be honest. The history of the place is quite fantastic and I also think it was one of the first actual bars in the city centre, as it used to just be full of pubs. The place both has the feel of a contemporary bar and an old fashioned pub and even though the place is busy, it’s always got a laid back feel and quite a chilled out atmosphere and I think that’s why we attract so many regulars.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

I love the familiarity of it all. We’ve got so many regulars and as a team, we all work together so well and it really feels like everyone’s trying to help each other out.

What food would you recommend to any of our readers who are considering coming to eat at The New Conservatory?

A burger; we do fantastic burgers here. We also do some great ‘winter warmers’ and pub classics too.

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about Leeds?

How close together everything is. I always compare it to Manchester as everything’s so far apart there and you always feel like you’ve got to pick an area whereas in Leeds, everything is so compact and you can walk around everywhere so easily!


stayceeStaycee Johns – Restaurant Manager

We also met up with Staycee, their Restaurant Manager, to delve even deeper into the personality of The New Conservatory!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m the Restaurant Manager here at The New Conservatory and I’m from Australia.

Incredibly luckily, I managed to land a job here when I came over to Leeds and I’ve worked my way up in the last couple of years.

What did you think differentiates The New Conservatory from the other bars in Leeds?

The first time I walked in here, my boyfriend and I were greeted at the door and they came over and welcomed us and from that point onwards, it’s felt like home.

I love that every time you walk in, there is always someone here that’s happy to see you.

Why do you think working here is so fun?

We’re an independent bar with only 24 staff members so everyone knows everybody which creates a family-like atmosphere. Also, if I’ve got an idea then I can just go to the manager and try to make it happen.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from your time at The New Conservatory?

You can never underestimate a smile. I’m a firm believer that a smile can change somebody’s life and knowing a customers leaving happy gives me the most job satisfaction.

In your opinion, what’s your favourite thing about Leeds?

Well, why did I stay in Leeds? I think it’s the atmosphere and the people. When I first arrived here, I was nothing but welcomed by everybody in the city. It’s got the big city benefits, like a great music scene, with a small city attitude.

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