Bar review: Roland’s, Leeds city centre

Roland's, Leeds.
Roland's, Leeds.
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IT’S one of the newer bars on the block, but since arriving on Call Lane last year, Roland’s has made quite an impact.

Taking over a former guitar shop, the bar has been keen to offer something different from the start.

Rather than following in the footsteps of neighbouring venues, which have seen great success, it’s opted for a more laid-back approach.

Take the exterior, for example. Rather than the typical neon lights and blaring music seeping out through the door, its simple facade is understated and easy to miss, with just a wooden frame and glass windows, with the Roland’s name above it.

The stripped-back feel is continued when you walk inside, with wooden tables and dimmed lighting.

There are candles on each table but that’s pretty much it, and whilst it seems rather minimalist in style, it still has a cosy feel.

We visit on a Tuesday night and are surprised and pleased to see it’s fairly busy even mid-week.

There are a few couples sitting by the bar and a family chatting away in one of the booths.

We sit in the last remaining booth by the window and watch on as a couple is entertained by a magician who is often spotted at the bars in the area.

After he has wowed the crowd, we turn our attention to the drinks menu.

The dozen or so cocktails are priced at around £6.50 and include classics such as daiquiris, margaritas and cosmopolitans.

Then there are a few unusual ones, such as the Roland’s Martini and Candyfloss Martini.

It’s good to see the bar has branched out, as on our previous visit, there was no cocktail menu at all.

I opt for the Amaretto Schneider Sour, with lemon juice, marmalade and orange bitters, topped with a white beer.

My companion chooses the Cider Apple Mojito, with rum, lime juice, mint leaves, apple juice and cider.

The friendly bartender chats to us whilst making the drinks and they don’t disappoint.

Both of us are happy with our choices – so much so that we stick to the same orders for the next round.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, there’s also a great range of beer and cider from around the world.

English, American, Italian, German, French and even Icelandic tipples are all on the menu and are priced from £4 to £5.

There is also a small but varied choice of red, rose and white wine.

Roland’s is a cosy little hideaway from some of the hustle and bustle you normally get on Call Lane, and it really does seem to be a winning formula.

EASTERN PROMISE: The rooftop terrace at the Kori bar, Victoria Gate.

Bar review; Kori, Victoria Gate, Leeds