Given the close proximity of this stripped-back compact indie bar to the main Call Lane stretch, it seems pretty obvious that there is a desire to fit in with the crowd.
The venue’s mismatched collection of old-looking armchairs, open feature fireplace, aged wooden flooring and bouncy indie soundtrack pull it away from the cheesy, out there image of its predecessor SoBe Bar and out into the cool, understated Call Lane mould. As a result you’re likely to see younger punters aged 18 to those aged up to around 40 in this place.
The menu at Hirst’s Yard is pretty compact but covers all the bases. There is a small list of around 10 quite standard cocktails to choose from that have been written on a blackboard by the bar, a decent selection of spirits behind the bar and two beers are available on tap on Barfly’s visit, with just Asahi and Oranjeboom beers on offer. Other than that there are a couple of well-stocked fridges that appease any beer or cider drinkers looking for something other than what’s on draught. The bar also stocks a basic selection of wines.
Hirst’s Yard is the latest incarnation of the brash Miami-inspired SoBe Bar and in fairness it doesn’t bear much resemblance to its predecessor. Gone are the bright neon lights and palm tree decorations in favour of a more toned down interior that aims to capture the more recognised Call Lane stylistic spirit. There are aged mismatched armchairs and wooden tables and stools that are highlighted with a warming red that beams from lights around the venue, which in many ways makes this place feel like its log cabin-style whiskey-loving upstairs sister bar 51% Bourbon – just without the dedicated retro stateside soundtrack. The music is instead better described as indie-pop, with the likes of We Are Scientists and The Wombats. An array of candles brighten this venue up come the night time, making it feel particularly insular and warm. In general Hirst’s Yard is nice and simple but not much more as it does lack that extra bit of personality that can turn a cosy, charming space into something that little bit more impressive and desirable. If anything it’s a little too simple.
Situated in the cosy backstreet collection of bars that lie between Call Lane and Lower Briggate, this place is hidden away from the traffic but just yards from a whole host of top Leeds bars including Smokestack, Call Lane Social and Jake’s Bar. This place shares its cobbled back street with its sister bar 51% Bourbon, colourful cocktail bar Mook and club Space.
Hirst’s Yard is open on Tuesday to Friday, from 4pm to late, and on Saturday, from 2pm to late.
We decided to make the most of the ‘Happy Hour’ deals on offer at Hirst’s Yard, which offer a number of £2.50 drinks and two-for-one cocktails between 4pm and 8pm every day that its open. So we chose a couple of average orange flavoured Koolaid cocktails, a pint of Oranjeboom, which cost £2.50, and a large glass of white wine which brought the bill to a very reasonable £13. You should be aware that if you’re buying two-for-one cocktails you must buy two of the same variety. The bar in general is pretty well priced and the reduced drinks and cocktail offers make this a particularly attractive venue early on.