Michelin-starred Leeds restaurant is closing and rebranding as a brutalist ‘surf shack’

The Man Behind the Curtain is famous for idiosyncratic, avant-garde cooking.

Updated on • Written By Pete Dreyer

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Michelin-starred Leeds restaurant is closing and rebranding as a brutalist ‘surf shack’

One of the UK’s most recognisable Michelin-starred restaurants - The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds - will close at the end of the year, to be relaunched as a new ‘surf shack’ concept called Psycho Sandbar.

Chef patron Michael O’Hare announced the news in a video on his Instagram, explaining that the influence of Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis had all been catalysts for the change.

‘Things need to change because the world has changed and I’ve changed, my team has changed,’ he says. ‘Our ability hasn’t, our vision hasn’t, but the world has.’


The Man Behind the Curtain currently runs tasting menus for lunch and dinner that will set you back £145 and £95 respectively. O’Hare instead wants to make Psycho Sandbar more accessible and flexible.

He explains: ‘The new restaurant is going to be called Psycho Sandbar based on those three waves - a fish heavy, surf-shacky kind-of-feel restaurant, that is brutalist in design, where you can eat beautifully-grilled fish, you can have pizza breads with plankton, you can have Champagne, cocktails… you can do whatever you want.’

O’Hare goes on to explain that The Man Behind the Curtain will be running a series of special experiences and packages in the run up to the closing date, in order to raise some funding for the rebrand. The restaurant will be taking bookings right up until 31 December, when it’ll close for refurbishment.

Michael O’Hare shot to prominence in 2015, when he appeared on BBC’s Great British Menu for the first time, recognisable for his rockstar haircut and unconventional cooking. The Man Behind the Curtain was awarded a Michelin star in October of the same year, and has held that award ever since.

The Man Behind the Curtain is just one of many great restaurants in Leeds. Check out our list of the best restaurants in Leeds for more inspiration.

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