Amid crowds of revellers with burnt backs and tan lines, shorts and summer dresses, you could almost believe you were relaxing on a Mediterranean boulevard, were it not for the illuminated Homesense sign overseeing the festivities on New Briggate.
There’s a lively vibe with chairs-on-the-street, bouncers having a laugh together and drinkers drifting in and out of bars.
Leeds houses for sale: This four bed family home has a huge garden and its own pizza oven
Phranakhon review: a hidden gem of the Leeds food scene serving moreish Thai tapas
Look inside this fabulous converted windmill, for sale near Harrogate
Rylan Clark has fans in hysterics after meltdown over finding a snake in his house
'We're trying to get their attention': Peanut butter brand sails along River Aire in Leeds in plea to Asda bosses
It’s cosier downstairs in Sela, where 'it won’t pick up until 11pm', I’m told by the friendly barman who happily gives recommendations before splitting my order of two different cocktails between him and his idle colleague who muddle with vigour and precision.
The latter restarts his short-of-perfect Amaretto Sour, and his second attempt is tasty but lacks the creaminess I was hoping for. These are no-frills cocktails, with lemon garnish and plenty of ice - but good value between £7.50 or £8, or 2-for-£12 between 4 and 8pm (except on Saturdays).
In the fridge behind the bar is a commendable range of beers and ciders - from Kirkstall and Cornish Orchards to Delirium and Schöfferhofer.
With exposed brickwork and wooden tables and benches, Sela bar's simple low-lit space has its own quirks - on display are frames showcasing assorted images including a Chinese takeaway menu, Bart Simpson’s distorted face and a poster for Studio 20, the legendary jazz club which the building once housed.
Indeed, music remains the focal point of the bar, and the walls are plastered with posters advertising the venue’s regular nights - Sela offers live music every Thursday, an open mic on Sundays and stays true to the space’s roots with jazz each Tuesday from 9pm.
As one gent in a flat cap observes, it's 'tune after tune' at Sela on my visit, but his appreciation for the selection doesn't end with his praise of the DJ as he sits alone tapping his knee for some time before thanking her again on his way out. Not long after, one of the bar staff approaches the decks eagerly seeking a track ID.
By the time I take my leave of the venue just after 11pm, the tunes have almost-but-not-quite moved patrons to their feet.
While other Saturday night spots are bursting with boogie, Sela bar remains a cool joint for music-lovers to take in some tunes with a drink.
Address: 20 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU
Telephone: 0113 242 9442
Opening hours: Mon, closed; Tues, 7pm-midnight; Weds and Sun, 4pm- midnight; Thurs-Fri, 4pm-2am; Sat, 2pm-2am.