Leeds' first ever Sicilian street food restaurant opens at flood-hit premises

The owners of a popular Leeds Italian restaurant have opened a new site in the city offering Sicilian street food to young professionals and students who 'don't have much time to go out or to cook every day'.

The launch party at Poco on Kirkstall Road. Picture by Peter Chan.

Poco, which opened this week opposite the Cardigan Fields Retail Park on Kirkstall Road, will feature the cookery of an experienced chef from Palermo, including pasta to go, pizza al taglio (pizza served by the slice) and giant arancini risotto balls.

It is the creation of the team behind Culto Italian kitchen and takeout on Stainbeck Road in Meanwood, which expanded last year due to demand from customers.

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Director Elvi Drizi said all of the ingredients at Poco, which means ‘little’ in Italian, are imported from the south of Italy. He said its aim is to be “a small place offering delicious small bites to eat”.

The team at Poco on Kirkstall Road

He told the YEP: “As we are an independent small business it took a few months for the place to be ready. We found this place in not very good condition, so we had to start from scratch.

“We did everything ourselves, from the construction and refurbishing the place after the premises were affected by the floods disaster in the area back in 2015, to the interior design.

“We had to completely rebuild the interior three times just so that it would look as great as we imagined – cosy, stylish, airy and light. We also worked with one of the best designers in Leeds (Passport) on our branding, to make sure that Poco looks and feels like it’s located somewhere in Sicily.

“We used all kinds of natural materials like wood, stone, marble and, of course, colourful tiles, lots of plants typical for Sicily – cacti, palms, lemon trees and the colours that remind us of this beautiful place – deep green, lemony yellow, blood orange and natural.”

The launch party at Poco on Kirkstall Road. Picture: Peter Chan

Poco held its launch party on December 30, which was attended by hundreds of people, with the site opening fully today.

The team at Poco on Kirkstall Road
The launch party at Poco on Kirkstall Road. Picture: Peter Chan