Not so long ago, the area along Water Lane in southern extremity of the city centre was, frankly, a no go area.
A once mighty industrial zone of Leeds it had fallen on hard times and was now home to derelict buildings, a crumbling reminder of its once mighty past.
Thanks to successive regeneration campaigns much of the area is now being returned to its former glory, with the Round Foundry area at its heart.
As well as hosting the offices of Welcome to Yorkshire it is also home to some brilliant bars and eateries.
It is here where the Midnight Bell lies.
The pub is the flagship pub of the well-respected Leeds Brewery and accordingly the beers from the brewery dominate their offering.
Leeds Pale and Leeds Best are mainstays on tap but the bar also offers other great beers such as Brooklyn Lager and an ever-rotating array of guest ales including, at present, a Leeds Brewery special offering called American Pale, which satisfies those in need of craft ale excellence. The bar itself attracts a mixed clientèle of social drinkers and office workers looking to unwind after a hard day at the office.
Oak beams and traditional brickwork dominate the ambiance as well as large windows, making the Midnight Bell resemble a traditional pub and a trendy bar.
There is an extensive seating area at the bar’s rear, with plenty of seating, making the bar extremely popular in the summer months. Service is extremely friendly and swift despite the bar being very busy.
The restaurant area located upstairs is well-appointed and homely and while I did not sample the food on offer on this particular evening the menu looked highly appetising with a wide-selection available.
I can confirm however from previous visits that the fish and chips they serve is well-worthy of trying.
The bar has particular resonance for those of here at YEP towers as it is often used as the staging point for social gatherings for the assembled hacks herein, owing to its being located a short stroll from the office.
On this particular visit it was a sad occasion as we bade a fond farewell to our crime reporter Sam Casey who was leaving our newsroom after many years of distinguished service.
The event was a sad yet joyous one as we said goodbye to a much-loved colleague and we quite simply could not have picked a better venue. So, personal allegiances aside, the Midnight Bell is a fantastic bar and a great place in which to spend time.
For a once dilapidated area, the Midnight Bell has helped ring the changes.