Bar review: Bar Brasil, Granary Wharf, Leeds

Bar Brasil, Granary Wharf, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
Bar Brasil, Granary Wharf, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
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Water-side kickabouts on Copacabana beach and tropical cocktails overlooked by Christ the Redeemer couldn’t be further away from central Leeds.

Well that’s what you might think, but one of Leeds’ latest bar additions is bidding to bring a slice of South America to Granary Wharf.

More canal-side than beach-side, Bar Brasil is a new concept bar timed perfectly to fire its way into bar goers’ consciousness amid the world’s greatest footballing spectacle, the FIFA World Cup.

And as much as England’s dismal showing might have dampened patriotic interest in international football, this place is going all out to prove a winner with sports fans.

Situated in a picturesque corner unit at Granary Wharf, which looks out over some of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal locks and up to the towering Doubletree by Hilton, Bar Brasil is based where the Cuvee wine bar once stood.

Cuvee’s wine-centred cocktails and fiddly iPad menus might not have hit the spot, so this Brazil-inspired venue has gone back to basics.

There are still remnants of Cuvee, the cool wine bottle chandeliers for one, but in the main the Bar Brasil makeover has attempted to give a certain rustic charm to what was a swanky aspirational venue.

An idyllic beer garden outside is difficult to miss, with aged, coloured wooden benches with green metal frames sitting below a collection of national flags that adorn the bar’s exterior.

It is full of overt and quite quirky tributes to Brazil, with a mini Christ the Redeemer wearing a yellow Brazil shirt outside and chalk murals, images of Pele and brightly coloured old VW car parts fixed to the ceiling and walls.

The formerly clean cut interior now mixes aged leather arm chairs and wood and wrought iron stools with simple tables and more colourful benches, all set out to give punters views of the many plasma screens displaying World Cup football. In fact for 30 minutes before and during World Cup games there are drinks offers including £10 for a four-pint pitcher of beer and 50 per cent off Brazilian Caipirinha cocktails during games.

Its football focus and status as a ‘concept bar’ could lead you to believe that Bar Brasil’s shelf life will be just as long as the football tournament but on our visit staff seemed hopeful it will outlast the summer.

Its native menu continues along the South American lines, with Brazilian Brahma beer and Budweiser as the draught choices, while a range of bottled beers and ciders includes drinks from Peru and Brazil as well as Black Sheep Yorkshire Ale, Guinness and Kopparberg cider.

There are eight exotic cocktails costing £6 upwards, while staff will try to make anything the menu has missed.

Amid a World Cup group game, we opted for a pair of Palma Louca Brazilian bottled beers and two authentic cachaca liquor, lime and sugar Caipirinhas which were sweet delights, and brought the bill to just £13.60 after offers.

This place offers something a bit different, so it would no doubt be a welcome mainstay if England fans can wipe the bad memories of Brazil 2014 from their minds, although its theme may need reinventing.

The bar is a well-timed addition, featuring an array of quality, authentic drinks at reasonable prices. It was popular with a handful of football fans as well as post work groups and older couples on our visit, and it’s easy to see why. Leeds obviously loves a bit of samba.

MAKEOVER: The new interior at the Gildersome Arms.

Leeds pub reopens doors after six-figure refurbishment