ANY BAR that you can walk into at any time of the evening up until midnight and order a pizza is a winner with this correspondent.
Sela Bar and Pizzeria is no newcomer to the Leeds bar scene, more an enduring classic that has a livelier late night edge than many others.
Nestled beneath the busy city centre streets, this nightspot is eye-catching enough from the world above its cosy basement interior; a slightly garish orange coloured sign indicates its underground presence.
Basement bars can be either really great or just the opposite; sometimes they just feel empty and dinghy but Sela does not fall into this category.
A dozen or so tables occupy the space to the right of the room as you emerge past red-painted walls from the foot of the stairs, and tucked away further right - doubling back on yourself is a performance area where musical acts regularly pitch up as evenings draw on to add an extra dimension to your cocktail supping experience.
Cocktails and craft beer - a firm staple duo of the late night scene - are this drinking hole’s specialities. There is a vast array of American import beers stacked in the fridges that line the wall at the back of the bar - a couple of tasty varieties of Brooklyn beers as well as several options from the Flying Dog brewery and even more options from UK-based Fourpure - IPA paradise at, typically, £3.90 a pop.
But I resisted the ‘tinnies’ and their typically strongly hoppy taste in favour of an unusual suspect on tap. Ever the adventurer, I plumped for a pint of the Dortmunder Union Vier; a new one on me, while my company for the evening was tempted by the chalk board listing the bar’s selection of cocktails - ‘The Refresher’ was her selection; a Vodka and cranberry based tipple that left the taste buds in a state satisfying true to its name.
Expect to pay £6.50 for a cocktail and £3.80 for a Dortmunder - which was ever so slightly disappointing. Golden, 5 per cent ABV and named after the industrial German city of its origin, it was a fairly steady, generic; relatively sharp to the taste much like a pilnser. Maybe I’ll raid the fridge next time.
There is a healthy selection of continental bottled beer to cover expensive tastes too, for example Italy’s Brewfist Spaceman IPA (£5.40), Belgium’s Chimay Bleue Dark Trappist (£5.20) and Spanish cerveza Er Boqueron (£5).
There’s UK bottles too from the likes of Crafty Dan Micro Brewery, The Great Yorkshire Brewery and Siren Craft Brew, and Erdinger, Yorkshire Blackout, Symonds, Blackjack and Fourpure are among the line up on tap.
The bartender was patient with our ummings and arrings, and the atmosphere was welcoming. One to return to.