The indie, rock and Motown undertones of Milo combined with its unique, brash and pretty garish styling give this place a rough around the edges underground feel that make it an attractive den for the city’s vintage music-loving drinking clientele.
You’re likely to see punters mostly aged under 45 in here, with a big student and youthful inner-city crowd in here.
Milo’s menu covers most of the bases, specialising mainly in cocktails and bottled beers and ciders. You can choose from around 25 varied cocktails, which are priced from £5,50, and there are dozens of beers and ciders in bottles behind the bar. In previous visits Barfly has sampled one of a number of draught beers and ciders normally stocked in this red-walled cavern but on popping in this winter there was no such choice, with nothing on tap whatsoever in the main downstairs bar. There is a limited wine choice here as well, while you can welcome the festive period with a seasonal glass of warm mulled wine for £4.
The out-there styling of Milo makes it immediately stand out, giving this bar a rocky, if slightly trippy vibe. The curvaceous bright red walls in the compact downstairs bar look like a strange blend of Plasticine and clay from a distance and the wavy mirrored ceiling wouldn’t look out of place in a theme park attraction, while the windows that peer through into the bar’s main staircase are moulded into the walls like a ship’s portholes. The place is oozing with character, like some sort of modern spoof of a 1960s music venue. In fact the upstairs function room is often used for gigs. The venue is scattered with cool features that bring it even more to life, such as the Jim Beam multi-coloured mural downstairs and the retro arcade machine, and if anything it shares some similarities with the much-loved Baby Jupiter, in York Place, but it in truth is a little less warm and comfortable. When everything in Milo combines, you’ve got a very individual bar with a quality retro soundtrack.
Milo is based at the top end of Leeds’s main collection of bars, Call Lane. Surrounded by a few more rough and ready music bars and clubs, Milo can count Bad Apples, Wire and throwback cocktail bar The Maven as its nearest neighbours. If you’re after something a bit different, the area boasts a really diverse range of bars, from recognisable city bars like Revolution and Jake’s Bar to cosy stripped back offerings like Call Lane Social and Neon Cactus. You’re also a short walk from the bars of Lower Briggate here.
This place is open on Monday to Wednesday, from 4pm to 2am, on Thursday, from 4pm to 3am, on Friday, from 1pm to 3am, on Saturday, from 1pm to 4am, and on Sunday, from 1pm to 2am.
We decided to trial a couple of Milo’s cocktails, with a refreshing apple, bourbon and ginger beer Kentucky Apple and a creamy, if not a little imbalanced, Kahlua and vodka White Russian. To follow those we went for a bottle of pear Rekorderlig cider and a suitably seasonal glass of hearty mulled wine bringing the bill to a pretty reasonable £20.50.