Bar review: The Place, Whitehall Road, Leeds

In the near future, when all vehicles are electric, city centre bar The Place on Whitehall Road is going to be even better than it already is.

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th May 2018, 1:36 pm

I visited the place (sorry, couldn’t help myself) earlier this week and discovered a really quite charming, independent bar, managed by a very affable man called Paul.

To give you the rundown, they sell a decent range of lagers, beers, ciders, they have 54 different type os gin and their food menu runs to things like fish finger butty (£6.50), several types of burger, wraps and jacket potato with cheese, all under a tenner.

It’s been open since February 2017 and Paul informs me they are already doing a roaring trade, especially on weekends, when you can apparently book ‘the place’ for free. Considering they have been barricaded behind roadworks for the last 12 months, this is no mean feat.

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The atmosphere is surprisingly subdued for one of these new-fangled city office bars, with a split level seating area, the lower of which acts like a sun trap for part of the day (if you like that sort of thing), while the upper level near the bar is much cooler. It’s all very clean and the angular look of the steel-frame architecture has been softened somewhat by the choice of seats, a mix of storm-grey wallseats with a scattering of cushions and Nordic-style chairs. Outside, though, you will find no-frills pub-style benches - three at present, although Paul informs me there are plans to install more soon, both on the recently laid grass and round the side.

I chose to sit at one of these, taking my half a Poretti (4.8 per cent) and rhubarb and ginger gin & tonic into the blazing sun (£8.20 for the two). This lager is a pale blonde pils with a strongish finish and a hint of grapefruit. It was quite by accident I happened to pair it with the rhubarb and ginger G&T but both worker well together. So well I almost didn’t want to leave.

I suspect that might end up being the case with most people who visit The Place, because there’s little to no residential clientele in the immediate area, which means the bar has to survive on workers populating the ever expanding Wellington Place development. The Place is already in a good spot but once HMRC move into the building next door, which by the way is still under construction but already has the distinction of being the largest pre-let build in the country (allegedly), then it will definitely be ‘the place’ to be.

With so many bars and cafes opening in the vicinity, it’s good to see a down-to-earth independent doing so well. I for one applaud it. In fact, I applaud anything which helps soften the clinical feel of these newbuild offices, with their sharp, all too efficient lines. And once we’ve all gone electric, you can sit outside and feel healthy during your lunchtime tipple.

Address: The Place, Building 6, Wellington Place, Whitehall Road, Leeds LS1 4AP

Score: 4/5