Bar review: Downstairs (And Upstairs) At Sid's, Bridge End, Leeds

UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS: Sids in Holbeck, which has a bohemian feel, with splashes of nostalgia.UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS: Sids in Holbeck, which has a bohemian feel, with splashes of nostalgia.
UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS: Sids in Holbeck, which has a bohemian feel, with splashes of nostalgia.
DOWNSTAIRS AT Sid's (you may know it as Sid's Little Egg... or just Sid's) didn't sound like my kind of bar to be honest.

But it’s got a certain charm about it which might not be all that clear from the outside. I say this because from a distance, it doesn’t look like a bar. Get closer, however, and you will see stencilled signage indicating craft beer, keg beer, gin, pool tables and even BT and Sky Sports. So, by the end of our leisurely sojourn, I have to admit, the place had grown on me.

This is a bar in Bridge End in Holbeck, just across the Leeds Bridge near Dock Street. It’s across from a little known block which looks like Leeds’s answer to New York’s Flat Iron building. This is a much-changed part of the city where many old buildings remain but quite a few have bitten the dust.

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Downstairs at Sid’s or Upstairs Downstairs (or whatever iteration you want to call it) feels like it has been here forever.

The downstairs bit is a sports bar with an emphasis on pool tables. We found a few local lads enjoying a quiet game.

The upstairs meanwhile is a trendier affair. It was quiet when we happened to drop by but we we’re reliably informed that it gets pretty busy at certain times and certainly their lively facebook page indicates as much.

As a whole, the place has a slightly bohemian feel to it. On the walls are newspapers – mainly Yorkshire Evening Posts – from the 1960s and 1970s: so, kitsch. In that sense, it’s a haven for nostalgia freaks.

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Our party decided to put the bar to the test. Our charming barmaid – it said George on the receipt so we assume she’s Georgina – offered tips and advice on our choices.

On her recommendation, I tried a pint of Coast to Coast (£3.50), the best value drink of the day. It is a 4.6 per cent American Style Pale Ale combining six hops from the Yakima Valley with East Coast Maritime malt. A very drinkable beer. We also tried a half of Amstel and a half of Strongbow (£1.80 each) and an Ilkley Alpha Beta (£4.50). It’s one of those distinctive hop-dominated beers. Ilkley Brewery says it is a little beer that’s big and bold. Ilkley Brewery is right. It’s good.

We also had a pint of Maltsmiths IPA (£3.95). Maltsmiths is an Edinburgh brewery, part of the Heineken group. The beer has a caramel base and hoppy notes of citrus and grapefruit. It’s a good, fine draft.

Overall, Sid’s seems to be an easy bar to love and is quiet enough for it to become intimate. Plus, it’s not too far from the busy areas of Brewery Wharf and Call Lane.

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Well worth getting to know. According to their facebook page, they are open Mon-Thurs 3.30pm-11pm, Fridays until 2am, Sat noon-2am and Sunday noon to 11pm.


Downstairs (Upstairs) At Sid’s, Bridge End, Leeds

Scores: 3/5

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