East Street Arts are pleased to announce that we have recently appointed our new Art Hostel Manager. After a huge amount of interest in the position and a high quality of potential candidates, Rhian Aitken was our successful applicant!

We’re all really excited to be welcoming Rhian as part of our ever growing team and are really looking forward to seeing how she takes on the role and influences the direction of the Art Hostel. We caught up with Rhian and asked her a few questions about the role and more importantly, what her tipple is.

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself… where were you born & when did you come to Leeds?

I’m originally from Middlesborough & moved to Leeds 14 years ago for a job in a grungy little old mans’ pub that served real ales.

Q2: Give us a potted history of your previous job experience?

I started working with the lovely people of Market Town Taverns at Arcadia Ale & Wine Bar in Headingley in 2004. I was the youngest manager at only 22 years old & we won various awards including Leeds CAMRA Pub of the Season four times. I gained my personal license in 2005 and became general manager of Arcadia the same year, winning Pub of the Year for Arcadia. I then moved on to running East of Arcadia in 2012. I loved working with so many creative & passionate people, obsessed with good hospitality & using independent, excellent quality local breweries & suppliers.

Q3: Best thing someone ever taught you & you still use it today?

My old boss always used to say the key to anything was seeing both the “big picture & the small details” & that works for pretty much everything! 

Q4: What excites you the most about being Art Hostel Manager?

It’s so exciting to be at the beginning of such a brilliant project. I can’t wait to get my teeth into the day-to-day running of the hostel & showing off our fair city to our guests….

Q5: What do you think will be the biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge is always staffing; get the right people for the right job & you’re laughing! 

Q6: What do you eat for breakfast to get you Art-Hostel-ready?

I’m not into a reet big breakfast; I’m caffeine-fuelled. Yorkshire tea is my addiction…. 

Q7: It’s our round, what’s your beverage of choice?

I’ll have a red wine or anything dark & stouty….

Q8: Sum up in 5 words 2016 & what it holds?

2016 will be: new, exciting, interesting, social & productive….

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