Leeds is a tart with a heart: it’s gritty, scruffy and not always particularly pretty, but by night the city comes to life.
With an overwhelming amount of venues for nights out, there’s more than just the well-known bars and clubs to hit up – people like their usual place, but nobody wants the same night out twice.
Try shaking up your evening with some alternative venues which will really show you what Leeds is about.
Blind Tyger Drinking Den
The Blind Tyger is a seriously hidden hang-out, with a subtle entrance and a text-riddled staircase leading to the dark and opulent little bar. It gives off a cosy atmosphere with candle-lit booth seating, plush leather and a wide range of exquisite spirits, including some individual homemade nectars and cocktails. With a dark wooden interior and elaborate Victorian styled wallpaper, complete with a Victorian till (very cool, I might add), this little bar oozes personality and class. If you’re aiming for a relaxing evening pop along here for a laid-back experience, fuelled with distinct alcohol tastes.
Blind Tyger Drinking Den, 5 1/2 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP, 0113 246 0770, blindtyger.co.uk
We allow our biggest fans to come on stage and sing Queen songs! pic.twitter.com/Z7zODNhUA1
— Propaganda Leeds (@PropagandaLeeds) February 15, 2015
Previously Propaganda was famous for some fantastic nights out in the 02 Academy, but their visions turned to a new building – introducing Attic. With a mish-mash of music which will get anybody’s feet moving it’s a must go. If jumping around to the Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon and some well-known ’80s hits is not your type of fancy, then bob into the second room. It offers a unique, tinted light and individual audio-visual experience with a dance vibe, allowing you to groove the night away to some of the best known hip-hop tunes. With good value drinks and late night partying till 4am, you’ll be happy to start your night here and maybe even end it here too.
Propagandas Attic, The Cube, Corner of Great George Street & Albion Street, LS2 8ER, thepropaganda.com
The Shed Bar
A true hidden gem. Situated near Call Lane and behind the famous Stone Roses Bar you will find this quaint den. With brick wall interior, dim lighting, fantastic music art and a wall of lyrics it offers an experience you won’t believe you’ve been missing out on. Under a captivating railway arch, exquisite wooden surroundings and a combination of modern rock and indie songs blend with a dash of classic rock ‘n’ roll. Throw in a variety of drinks on the menu, from world beers to a collection of whiskys and fabulous cocktails, and there is literally something for everybody’s taste.
The Shed Bar, 6 Heatons Court, LS1 4LJ, theshedbar.co.uk
Roxy Ballroom isn’t your typical bar. It offers a new and interesting concept for a night out. With a wide food menu from pizza and burgers to pulled pork, and delicious alcoholic drinks of craft ales and cocktails, what more could you want? There is much on offer for your entertainment with a unique twist, courtesy of beer pong, bowling, pool, table tennis and table football. You won’t get bored of this place any time soon. It’s the perfect place for a chilled and alternative evening with your friends.
Roxy Ballroom, 1st Floor, Trinity Square, Boar Lane, LS1 6HW, 0113 322 1781, roxyballroom.co.uk
51% Bourbon really transports you back to another generation, with classic rock ‘n’ roll and an unpolished American style it all adds to the personality of this bar. From straight spirits to an extensive cocktail menu, it stocks more than just bourbon, but don’t worry – you whisky connoisseurs are obviously welcome! With country, rock and blues playing throughout the bar it really awakens the American spirit within you. And there’s even the chance to book a masterclass in bourbon or cocktail making. It would be rude not to.
51% Bourbon, 2nd Floor, 11-13 Hirsts Yard, LS1 6NJ, 0113 322 9919, 51percentbourbon.co.uk
With its slick black signs, dim lighting and rough-around-the-edges look, this authentic underground club has an intimate setting. It offers plenty of events to satisfy an entire spectrum of music – not forgetting its full Funktion One Soundsystem (AKA really big speakers!) As a venue Wire has played host to some fantastic acts like Tensnake, Annie Mac and The Cribs. So if loud speakers and dark rooms are your bread and butter, then pop down and check it out.
Wire, 2A Call Lane, City Centre, LS1 6DN, 0113 234 0980, wireclub.co.uk
Are you a Mojito lover? Well you're in luck… For this weekend only Mojitos are back on the menu! pic.twitter.com/MnFbC6vN2l
— The Backroom (@Thebackroom_) February 6, 2015
The Backroom is a veritable gold mine for all those history buffs. It’s a 1920s themed bar and event space, decorated with olden style signs and newspaper clippings, and with an extensive drinks menu to suit all taste buds – including a range of world beers, gins and whiskys. Inspired by the prohibition era, this modern-day speakeasy offers a blend between the past and the present, serving classic cocktails with a modern twist, and playing everything from dance and RnB party classics to motown, funk, soul and disco. It’s a chance for you to travel back to a cooler time.
The Backroom, 50a Call Lane, LS1 6DT , 0113 243 8666, thebackroomleeds.co.uk
Also known affectionately as The Fav, this is a real unique pub and gig venue to add to the alternatives list. Its reputation for cutting edge music, DJs and current trends is well-earned, and it even saw early performances from the Arctic Monkeys, The Streets and Lily Allen. With multi-purpose art spaces and the infamous Garden Parties, as well as a selection of unrivaled craft beers and interesting food to try, it offers so much towards a great night out.
The Faversham, 1-5 Spingfield Mount, LS2 9NG, 0113 243 1481, thefaversham.com
A sister bar to The Blind Tyger, this introduces a taste of Latin America to Leeds – along with some good old rock ‘n’ roll too. It champions two of Leeds’s favourite crazes: delicious food and pleasurable music. The bar, named after The Clash’s fourth record, serves up a distinctive take on refreshing and tasty tapas, and offers a real sense of authenticity and personality. For all you cocktail enthusiasts, the enviable selection will have you rummaging through the menu to try them all. It could be a messy evening…
Sandinista, 5 Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP, 0113 243 0395, sandinista.co.uk