Bar review: Outlaws Yacht Club, New York Street, Leeds

Pictures: James Hardisty
Pictures: James Hardisty
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In an unsuspecting spot on the far side of the city centre, now handily located a stroll from the new Victoria Gate development is a bar that screams urban hipster, in the best possible way.

An unusual name for an off-beat venue that shares its subground space with a neighbouring hairdressers. The curved nature of the interior means the barbers is all but out of sight when you’ve taken a seat but I imagine it would be hard not to walk away from here after nipping by to get your locks restyled.

As individual as the bar’s name, the interior is one that pulls your eyeline in all directions. Down a few short steps you step into what feels like a sort of relaxed common room. The use of the space is highly sociable and works great with larger groups. There are long wooden benches accompanied by mismatched wooden framed chairs and low slung upholstered seating that trace the perimeter, with box stools on which to pull up and perch.

Among the decorations is a large old fashioned shop till and the tables are adorned with small brown bottles containing flowers that look like cabbages in bloom.

White petal lampshades hang down from exposed ceilings of pipes and wires and in one corner is a table of vinyl, some of which are on sale, and a turntable.

On the walls of arty abstract shapes in frames and posters and a row of terracotta looking figurines are lined up along a wall next to the bar.

The bar itself is all wood and here there is a large barrel of cider and elderflower at one end and cakes and pork pies on covered plates at the other.

A stack of board games rest on shelves along one wall and the soundtrack on this evening visit is a mixture of dancy numbers that are vaguely reminiscent of the Stranger Things soundtrack.

The bar is well-stocked with craft beers. Estrella and a Freedom lager are on tap, as well as a house pale ale, and there is an extensive list of cocktails, some of which have been given a house twist too. Roasted artisan coffee is also served and one menu board lists a Baileys and white chocolate hot chocolate and a hot whisky toddy among other special winter drinks.

Bizarrely, there are fake bananas attached to light fixtures hanging over the bar that somehow sums up the quirkiness of this hidden gem on the Leeds bar scene.

Monday night is quiz night, Tuesdays offer sharing meat and cheese boards with a bottle of wine for just £15 and on Fridays and Saturdays it stays open until midnight and features live DJs.

A brilliant quirky addition to the Leeds night scene that boasts a highly sociable layout and extensive choice of quality food and drinks.

Rating: 4/5

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