Bar review: The Box, Otley Road, Headingley

The Box, Headingley. Picture by Simon Hulme.
The Box, Headingley. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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The student heartland of Headingley is packed full of bargain drinks offers, fancy dress marauders and care free students.

There might have been a bit of a shift towards city centre living for many of the city’s studious young people but, make no mistake, this north Leeds suburb is still great for a drink or two.

The Box, Headingley. Picture by Simon Hulme.

The Box, Headingley. Picture by Simon Hulme.

For those not too long out of university there are still the staple watering holes that make this place memorable, like The Arc, the Otley Run pubs and of course The Box.

The former has had a makeover or two in recent years, the pubs have remained largely unchanged and The Box is still the area’s most popular sports bar.

A £400,000 cash injection into this Arc Inspirations stalwart in July has seen it get a fresh lick of paint, new menus and just the 31 plasma screens to keep you up to date with the scores.

The bar has a much cleaner finish, there are smooth white tiled and wood panelled floors, stone-topped bars upstairs and downstairs as well as minimalist bar stools and swish leather banquettes on both floors.

The Box, Headingley. Picture by Simon Hulme.

The Box, Headingley. Picture by Simon Hulme.

The all weather terrace is still up and running and the in-bar entertainment of pool tables has been added to with table football for those that haven’t soaked up quite enough sport.

Changeable neon backlights at every turn give the venue glowing splashes of colour outside of the greys, greens and blues of the decor as the pop and dance soundtrack ramps up on a night.

It is quite plainly student-focussed and it was unsurprisingly popular with fresh faced 20-somethings on our midweek visit, so the older punter might feel a little out of place on occasion.

The menu here is now quite simple and straight forward, while being crammed with food and drink offers that would make even the most frugal of student willing to spend.

There are two-for-one cocktails Sunday to Thursday as well as meal deals, cut price daiquiris, wines, ciders and beers most days of the week.

There are nine £6.50 house cocktails as well as sharers, bombs and shot deals. There is a good selection of draught and bottled beers and ciders, with Amstel, Staropramen, Guinness and Strongbow among those on tap. You can also enjoy a number of wines and a wide array of spirits and mixers.

We went for a couple of spiced rum, peach, passionfruit and lime Captains Punches along with pints of Coors Light and strawberry Rekorderlig which brought the bill to a good value £15.

This renewed suburban sports bar still delivers what you would expect – great deals, good variety, a nice atmosphere and low prices.