Bar review: Revolution, Call Lane, Leeds

Revolution, Call Lane, Leeds.
Revolution, Call Lane, Leeds.
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Pounding club music, a packed out dancefloor and unenviable queues symbolise Call Lane after dark.

The city’s popular bar capital is a hub for revellers most nights of the week and, along with the likes of Merrion Street in the city’s Northern Quarter, has harboured Leeds’s evergreen independent bar scene for decades.

That reputation has brought in the odd big named bar brand over the years and Revolution, in Call Lane, is an example of a national chain getting in on the action.

Known for its vodka-fuelled party atmosphere, Revolution has established itself as a go-to bar-cum-club in the city’s main bar hub over several years.

Popping in on a pre-Christmas Thursday night we were met with scores of festive revellers making the most of Revolution’s party-infused bar atmosphere. In the midst of work Christmas party season the crowd was particularly varied but on most occasions you’re likely to meet 18 to 40-year-olds in here.

Stylistically, Revolution very much fits the stripped back mould of Call Lane bars with its aged wooden flooring, bare brick walls, simple high stools and tables, red leather sofas and brown booths.

Its main downstairs space is dominated by a lengthy wood-topped red neon-lit bar to the right of the entrance and leads to a disco ball-clad dancefloor to the rear.

Much like its neighbour Call Lane Social, there is more to Revolution than its neutral downstairs space however, with a separately themed bar space on its upper floor.

Revolucion De Cuba is a quirky cocktail of liquor barrel tables, weathered wood flooring, scarlet leather seating, South American canvas pop art and a vintage wooden bar lit with hanging opaque glass lights.

A chilled RnB/ pop music soundtrack featuring the likes of Justin Timberlake and Gnarls Barkley here gives Revolution a more intimate sideline, which can be a bit of a retreat from the rowdy crowds downstairs.

Revolucion De Cuba even has its own specialist rum-based menu, crammed with mojito cocktails alongside many of the main bar’s bottled beers, ciders and wines.

Downstairs’s broad menu is dominated by a range of around 35 cocktails including classics and vodka-based selections costing up to £7.50 each as well as teapot sharers and pitchers. As you’d expect there is a wide array of shooters to choose from, with the flavoured vodka ‘shot sticks’ available as always.

Away from the spirits there is a decent number of red, white and rose wines and sparkling selections to choose from, along with a handful of draught beers and ciders and several bottled choices.

We went for a refreshing rum, Coca Cola and lime Cuban Libre and a simple but tasty vodka and ginger beer Moscow Mule. The latter was advertised as coming in a copper mug but came in a glass, though that may have been down to the night and time we visited.

We followed those up with bottles of Peroni and Sol beer, bringing the bill to £21.60.

Much like its sister bar in Cookridge Street, Revolution’s Call Lane offering houses a chart music-filled lively dancefloor within an attractive, simplistic and open plan bar space.

Its Revolucion De Cuba alter-ego certainly adds an extra ingredient to what is obviously a pretty popular formula, while its broad shooters-filled menu and bustling main bar area make for a good party venue at night.

Rating: 3/5

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