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The Best Bars In Leeds... Ever!
Other Pubs / Bars in Leeds (Leeds)
Member Name: jeff2000
Other Pubs / Bars in Leeds (Leeds)
Date: 16/11/01, updated on 21/02/02 (3133 review reads)
Advantages: loads of choice
Disadvantages: not a lot
I’ll start my round-up at the canal end of the city, by the corn exchange, a very nice area of the city, and work my way up towards the student homelands of Headingley (but they’re another story), not such a nice area. So, hold tight cos here we go:
Aire Bar: A little bar in the calls area of town, just behind the Corn exchange. It used to be called Sparrow’s Wharfe but it’s name was changed for no apparent reason, nevermind. A favourite with students staying in the Clarence Dock halls Aire bar is a basement bar looking out over the river that has a very relaxed attitude at any time of the day. Open from 11-11 it is often quite busy around lunch time with business men, but don’t let that put you off. It’s quite expensive at £2.20 a pint but it has good well comfy leather sofas, so it’s all good really. Verdict: Great for a quite pint (or two) but not really one for the night out.
Pitcher and Piano and Town House: Despite never actually venturing into either of these establishments I’ll give them a quick word anyway. They are both quite smart bars, positioned just behind the corn exchange, they are open all day and both hold 2 am licenses, as do most of the bars in Leeds city centre. In the evening they are generally packed,
often with long queues and they seem to attract a ‘townie’ sort of crowd. They have drinks at £2.20 a pint and are both large, spread over two floors. Verdict: I’ve never been but I’ve been warned away, not my sort of thing me thinks.
Fudge Bar: Also positioned behind the Corn exchange I had not ventured into the rather strangely named Fudge bar til just last week, though I reckon I’ll be back soon. It’s just been extended and refurbished and in my opinion is more like a club than a bar. It’s got a dancefloor and not much seating but overall is very smart, but then it should be at £2.50 a pint. It has also got a late license and plays credible house til the early hours, also check out their Sunday sessions, I caught MYNC project there the other day and other guests include Cream resident Yousef, so get down there to catch some top jocks for free, the perfect end to the weekend. Verdict: A very stylish bar with the perfect Sunday blues cure.
Elemental: Situated in the basement of the Corn exchange is this very stylish bar, usually pumping out a house soundtrack. Their Tuesday student night stand out for a lesson in drinking, especially vodka! Open til 2 every day they’ve even got a dancefloor to shake your stuff on to the very good resident DJ’s. Verdict: Went for the first time the other day and will certainly be returning. Nice bar with a great soundtrack.
Café Inseine: Just up from the Corn exchange and opposite the Space club café inseine is a small bar split over two floors, they play host to DJ’s on certain nights, most notably their warm up to Base at Space on a Wednesday night, hard house all the way. They also do cocktails, rather potent ones at that and some lovely food curing the day. Open til 2 at the weekend and 12 during the week you’ll pay £2.00 a pint, not bad, eh. Verdict: A bit small but great for closeness to Space.
Revolution: Down towards the can
al comes a multitude of bars, most of which I haven’t been in due to their rather big queues and my lack of patience, an exception to this rule is Revolution, part of the vodka bar chain it is a relatively big bar with a lovely outside seating area for the summer, oh, I wish it was summer again. Revolution has a superb selection of flavoured Vodkas at a very reasonable £1 a shot during the week and £1.50 at the weekend, I would particularly recommend the dime bar one, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Their pints are reasonably priced at £2.00 for Heineken, but the bar does get very busy at the weekend, so go during the week and enjoy the laid back hip hop selection being laid down by the DJ. At the weekend the tempo is upped a bit to a fine blend of funky house, can’t go wrong really. Verdict: Great bar during the week and in the summer but can get a bit packed during the winter months.
Rock Bar: Situated by the train station Rock doesn’t look much from the outside, but once you venture in you’ll discover the basement, which is more of a club than a bar, with a large dancefloor and not much seating. It’s a very dark bar with black walls which gives it quite a dingy feel, but it works quite well. The drinks are very expensive at £2.50 a pint, but then it is nearly a club, and it’s open til 2 every day. Verdict: Nice if you’ve got the money but not really for the students amongst us.
Becketts Bank: Moving past the train station Becketts Bank is situated in the financial district of Leeds, and, yes, you guessed it, used to be a bank. It’s part of the Weatherspoon chain and as such provides very cheap drinks at all hours of the day and they also provide mouth watering food at knock down rates. Brilliant I hear you cry, what more could you want? Well, although the décor is very nice and the layout also brilliant with a balcony surrounding the large room the bar keeps with the Weatherspoon tradition of not p
laying music. Now, this is ok during the day, but come night time and the place is full to bursting, it really does start to do your head in not having any music pumping out. Also the crowd is mainly made up of Ben Sherman blokes and mini skirted middle aged women, not my idea of fun. Verdict: Great during the day but avoid at night.
Courtyard: Voted bar of the year for students last year the courtyard is a rather large bar situated by the newly renovated Millennium Square. Aptly named ‘the courtyard’ because of it’s massive outside, yes you’ve guessed it, courtyard. It’s all undercover and fully heated so you can enjoy the fresh air at any time of the year. The bar is usually busy with special offers during the week and some more funky house at the weekend. It’s got a small dancefloor, in front of the DJ box to bust a move on, but if you’re outside then the tables will suffice. The drinks are expensive at £2.50 a pint but go during the week and take advantage of their very cheap offers as it’s open til 2 every day. Verdict: A great bar with a very friendly clientele.
Bar 38: This bar is located on the Headrow, directly opposite the town hall, part of the chain and like the others Bar 38 offers a very stylish bar spread over 3 levels, with unisex toilets no less! Definitely for the more stylish amongst us they have a strict dress code at the weekend, no trainers etc.. But this is relaxed during the week. The drinks weigh in at £2.20 a pint, so not too bad then, and they have offers on rather nice cocktails during the week to save you a packet, but, they don’t have a DJ and the music can be a bit eclectic to say the least, which is a bit of a let down. Verdict: Very stylish but there are better options around.
Walkabout: A very large bar, split over two levels, featuring a large dancefloor pumping out only the purest cheddar every day of the week. Has a fine range of Australian lagers a
nd is decorated in a ‘down under’ kind of way. It’s got quite a studenty crowd and gets packed at the weekend as it’s as big as a club yet only £1 to get in (after 11). The drinks are around £2.20 a pint, so not too bad really, and there’s 3 large bars so the queues aren’t generally too bad. Verdict: Great for a cheesy night out, but if you’ve got any musical standards avoid like month old milk.
Yates: Situated opposite Morrisons, Yates win lodge is another large bar on two levels with a large terrace for the summer. Featuring a DJ and dancing on the weekend, when it fills with the locals on the pull, it’s best to keep away when they invade. During the day it’s a different story though, as they offer cheap drinks (£1.60 a pint) and quite tasty food. Verdict: Avoid at night but worth a look if you’re on a budget.
Springbok: Directly opposite Yates is Springbok sports bar. The amount of tv’s (and I’m not talking men in drag) that this place contains is amazing, showing any sporting event that you could think of. They also have a DJ playing cheese at the weekend, when this bar also becomes a bit of a local’s hangout. They have student offers at all times, £1.50 for a pint of stella, which is never bad and also cheap cocktails which are rather yummy. Verdict: As with Yates give it a shot during the day but avoid at the weekend.
Dry Dock: A proper student hide away if ever I saw one. With Leeds Met just over the road this converted boat, yes really, is always crammed with the ‘brains of Britain’ wasting their lives away. Part of the ‘it’s a scream’ chain a reduction on nearly everything is available on the production of a yellow card, which you can get with a quick flash of your student card and the payment of £1. What a deal. In the summer this place is packed with people overflowing onto the grass outside. With it being open til 1 every
day it’s an ideal student pub and if you haven’t been in it yet then you should be embarrassed. Verdict: Get yourself down there, don’t be a square.
Well, that about rounds up my whistle stop tour of Leeds bars. I know I’ve missed loads out but never mind eh, maybe I’ll do another review on them…
WARNING: I have given my opinion of these bars, do not blame me if they are not as I described, I’d had a few after all.