The Social Leeds review: A relaxed and friendly atmosphere on the doorstep of the lively Merrion Street
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There are no blinding lights visible from the exterior, nor are there any extravagantly designed posters beckoning you in. It presents itself as a smart, cosy bar. There is no false advertising – that’s exactly what it is.
Conveniently based on Merrion Street and the surrounding area's array of late-night watering holes, The Social has a pub vibe in an area densely populated by bars.
The interior is tasteful, with exposed brickwork and adequately spaced-out seating making you feel like you’re in a living room, if your living room had pints on tap, of course.
Before I descend into full-on interior designer mode, I’ll cut straight to the main attraction – the fizzy, golden stuff. The Social’s range of beers is fantastic, serving classic continental lagers as well as craft ales brewed right here in Leeds.
Kirkstall Brewery’s flagship session IPA, Virtuous (£5.10), was my pint of choice and delivered the refreshing fulfilment it always does. Crisp and light but bold with its zesty flavour, it is a fantastic choice for any draught line-up.
For those not particularly fond of craft beer, old familiars such as Estrella and Guinness will whet the whistle.
I visited on a quiet afternoon before going to a gig at the nearby Key Club, but the venue had attracted enough people desiring a post-work pint to ensure there was an atmosphere.
Service was incredibly friendly, while an assortment of indie-rock anthems provided an enjoyable soundtrack to the wit I treat my friends to over a pint. I’ll be back.
Address: 21 Merrion St, Leeds LS2 8JE
Telephone: 0113 244 4401
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs, 3pm-11pm; Fri, 3pm-1am; Sat, 1pm-1am; Sun, 1pm-10pm.