THe Yard in Yeadon has taken on the baton from its predecessor, The Aviator, which was forced to close in February last year following a number of highly publicised bar brawls which resulted in its licence being suspended.
It was relaunched in May as a real ale and food bar, with the addition of a wood-fired pizza oven and a mission statement to attract families. Six months seems more than long enough to bed in and so we called in on New Year’s Eve to give it a whirl.
First impressions count and The Yard does not disappoint. It’s an impressive building, a former cinema and later bingo hall on the town’s main street and bang opposite a Greg’s. The children’s menu option is chalked next to the entrance hall, so ‘tick’ for attempting to snag passing families (my partner and I were there with our two children).
Inside, there’s a main seating area with a variety of chairs, some tall standing to tables, with a comfy sofa and low table attended by a collection of stools. One of the first things you notice is the pizza oven. It’s impressive to look at and a real selling point for a pub which is trying to carve out a new niche.
There’s a long wooden table right in the middle of the main room which is made up from old bits of reclaimed wood, all mismatched and cobbled together and coated with a sheen of varnish. It the furniture equivalent of a patchwork quilt and the same technique has been used to decorate the bar front. The effect is to soften the whole area and make it easy on the eye.
Beer wise, they have a decent selection of real ales and the usual pub fair. I opted for a pint of Wolf Rock (£3.60), while my other half went for a Carlsberg (£2.80) and the children soft drinks (Pepsi at £1 and a lime and soda for 50p - I didn’t think anything cost 50p any more but there you go).
The Wolf Rock had a reddish hue and was treacly with hints of orange zest and those penny cola sweets you used to buy from the corner shop as a child.
Of course, the presence of the pizza oven was too much to bare and so we ordered food: Hawaiian pizza (£8.50), bacon and cheese burger (£7.95), kids scampi and chips (£4.50) and kids chicken nuggets and chips (£4.50). The pizza was one of the best I’ve had in ages, the super thin base being merely a device to deliver the ingredients (as it should be), the burger was massive and tasty and the kids food was piping hot with no complaints.
Service was also good, the chef stayed behind to finish our order.
The only thing The Yard is not doing is promoting itself enough. There’s no social media (that I can see), no phone number on the web (or receipt) but there should be because The Yard has a lot of potential - it just needs to shout about it.