Quiet sophistication in the heart of the city centre

Outlaws Yacht Club, New York Street, Leeds...17th December 2012.....Picture By Simon Hulme
Outlaws Yacht Club, New York Street, Leeds...17th December 2012.....Picture By Simon Hulme
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OK, so in the interests of journalistic integrity which the YEP prides itself on, it is important that I make a declaration of interest straight away.

This week’s subject for Barfly is Outlaw’s Yacht Club on New York Street and it also happened to be the destination for the newsroom’s annual Christmas drinks.

Now, given that the bar’s management gave us a designated area of the bar all to ourselves at very short notice, it is natural that I would feel predisposed to give the venue a glowing write-up.

However, I swear on all that is sacred, even if I had just wandered in off the street, I would still be offering the bar a strong review.

Outlaw’s Yacht Club is an odd proposition for sure.

Based near the bus station it is passed by every day by thousands of people.

Once you are past the glass fronted exterior you find yourself in a quaint and well-appointed bar.

If you’re interested there is a very impressive looking food menu but for the team this evening there is only one objective and that is drink.

The bar is stocked with a decent choice of beers and the cocktails are well prepared and tasty.

The “Jammy Dodger”, prepared from rum and jam, is in particular well worth investigating.

So too is the Outlaw’s Pale Ale, a heady brew of their own concoction, which goes down extremely well with everyone in on the round.

The bar staff it has to be said are extremely friendly and efficient.

Even though it is the Friday before Christmas and the bar is very busy none of us faced a particularly lengthy wait at the bar and found ourselves served very quickly indeed.

The music is loud enough to create an atmosphere but not so loud as to prohibit conversation.

Over the course of the evening we are treated to Super Furry Animals and John Lennon, a sign of the eclectic tastes the venue offers.

The one snag comes when the door to the venue’s toilet breaks, specifically the handle, meaning that patrons have to face an uncomfortable wait of around 30 minutes while it is repaired.

This is however, something that could happen absolutely anywhere at any time and certainly should not be held against the place.

In truth Outlaws is something of a hidden gem, easy to ignore as you walk past but impossible to forget once you have been inside.

Whether it is a work’s Christmas do or a couple of quiet drinks over a board game or two, you will be hard pressed to find a more appealing or accommodating bar in the city centre. Here’s to Outlaws!