New bars are like buses aren’t they. You wait for ages and then they all seem to come at once. Mind you, just before Christmas is a good time to open a bar in the city centre. Although this one isn’t just a new bar it’s the new Leeds City North Brewing Tap Room featuring 24 taps, although only 18 were dispensing beer. The other six pouring wines, Prosecco, cocktails and some strange zero alcohol, cold brew coffee tonic thingy.
I guess it’s best to point out the elephant in the room that a lot of people are talking about at the minute in beery circles and around leeds; it’s a cashless bar! Yes, no folding or jangling money is allowed, just a touch of a card, a wave of a mobile phone or a flourish of a wrist watch.
My take on this is it’s inevitable, it’s easy, there’s many benefits and if you’ve got a problem with it then go somewhere else in your Hansom cab, or maybe you have one of those new fangled motor cars now, with a man holding a red flag out in front of course.
For those who liked the Brewery Tap room in Sheepscar Grove, the new Leeds City Tap Room is nothing like it. Although it appears the existing one is staying open for the time being. No, there’s no brew kit or concrete floor, just lots of bright lights and open airiness, a long bar and lots of floor to ceiling glass. To my eye, it’s been very well done; modern, stylish and designed, as opposed to the edgy, on the cheap, up- cycling feel of a lot of newer places.
The beers, obviously, include a comprehensive selection of North Brewing Co. beers, including a couple tap of room specials along with a nicely curated collection from other brewers. In terms of price you could get a pint of under 4% ABV for £4.50, but if you wanted something a little more esoteric or stronger then you’re going to pay for it. Comparatively, the prices are par for the course. It’s not Wetherspoons you know.
Food is available from caterer Little Bao Boy, and served from a separate counter. The prices were, I thought reasonable. I spoke with a guy who’d brought his young family and they said it was excellent food, good value, and would definitely come again.
North Brewing Leeds City Tap Room opens at 7.30am for breakfast when you can get a Bacon Bao bun for £3, which I think is VFM, plus coffee from Darkwoods Coffee roasters. If you’re not sure what a Bao bun is then think Chinese steamed bread roll.
The simple menu includes lunch time specials and all day meals which leads nicely into the location. Situated south of the railway station on Sovereign Street, it makes good sense to be open all day for the many office workers in that part off the city who just want something a bit different for lunch or breakfast, or maybe a pint after work. There’s no doubt that the many fans of North Brewing and good beer will flock here in droves whatever.
My prediction; destined to become another Leeds institution like the original North Bar.