Bar review: Roxy Ball Room, Boar Lane, Leeds

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The glistening glass frontages and neon signs of the Trinity Leeds development have created a cluster of classy new bars.

The likes of the Alchemist, the Botanist, Angelica and more recently 360 Champagne and Cocktails in Trinity Kitchen have added a handful of shiny additions to the city’s burgeoning bar circuit.

But as much as the welcome sound of footsteps on the high street has added some swanky new venues to the city centre, there are those of us who think a bit of earthy variety wouldn’t go a miss.

Now that’s where Roxy Ball Room hopes to come in.

Having only opened its doors to the public last week, this expansive stripped-back space is jam-packed with ping pong and pool tables aimed at bringing out the big kid in you.

Set above the revamped shop units which housed the old Square on the Lane pub until 2011, Roxys is accessed through a stairway flanked by vintage cinema seats which lies between Caffe Nero and Wilkinsons in Albion Street.

You enter into an earthy space that encases an old school rock and new fangled indie soundtrack of everything from The Cure and Thin Lizzy to MGMT between varnished chipboard, bare brick and log cabin-style walls.

Its huge, cleverly-separated interior marks sections for ping pong and beer pong drinking games, a row of pool tables and seated sections that are well guarded from any mishit table tennis balls.

Simple wood and metal furniture combine in the main bar area with gleaming scarlet tiles and hard-wearing flooring to give a stripped but comfortable feel, added to by hanging black mining lamps which dimly light the venue.

Some quirky touches include a cool spiral staircase up to the loos, unique ping pong graffiti art and a picnic table-filled corner floored with Astroturf.

The main bar, which smells fresh from carpentry and decorating, is a lengthy sheet metal wood-topped creation that is backed by metal beer barrels, a beer menu and white tiling.

The menu is simple but effective, with a broad range of 25 cocktails costing up to £7.50, a host of beers, real ales and ciders as well as a small selection of wines and champagnes.

You can choose from over a dozen reasonably priced draught beers and ciders including Thatchers, Spitfire and Sam Adams, while there are dozens of bottled choices available.

We went for a couple of the cocktails, with a refreshing Sailor Jerry rum, raspberry chambord and ginger beer Hit on Me and a sharp raspberry vodka, chambord and apple schnapps mix called A Proper Spanking.

Following those up with a small can of apple Rekorderlig cider and a pint of smooth signature Roxy Lager the bill came to an agreeable £20.20.

Its early draw saw it pretty busy on our midweek visit, with couples and groups aged 18 to 40 giving it a try.

And it seems there is more to come as its owners Jones Bar Group have plans to bring a pizza kitchen to this place and open a Roxy Lanes bowling bar above Tesco Express in Bond Street.

Given its close proximity to its Trinity neighbours and the bars of Call Lane and Lower Briggate, Roxys looks well placed for success.

Roxy is a charming change in direction and gets on board with activity-filled venues such as The Pit, in lower Merrion Street. It’s an uncomplicated, exciting new bar that is well worth a visit.

The Commercial.

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