I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t see much of the inside of The Library, which is a shame because it’s got some decent architecture.
In my defence, when we arrived at this halfway house for hedonists as they near the end of the Otley Run, it was absolutely heaving. It was a balmy Saturday, around 9.30pm and the former public library (clue’s in the name) has an attractive not to mention substantial outdoor seating area on the stone-flagged pavement.
As one of the major stopping off points at the tail end of the aforementioned bar crawl, The Library occupies an enviable position, because in addition to having ample seating indoor and out, it is flanked by numerous takeaway shops and curry houses, which, as any seasoned drinker will know, become ever more attractive as the night wears on.
Inside the decor echoes the building’s past, the main bar occupies a formidably large room, with a lofty ceiling and an exquisitely tiled floor but as I said, it was absolutely packed when we arrived and having waited a considerable time to get to the bar, we decided to go outside and watch the hoi polloi wobble and shout their way into town.
The Library offers a very good range of craft ales, lagers, beers, so I was surprised when my mate went for a Carling (£3.15) but horses for courses and to give him his due he had been sampling some real ales earlier in the night and ‘wanted a break’, so fair dos.
I also asked for a rum and coke £3.70 for another friend and a ‘whiskey and dry’ for me but the bartender didn’t seem to know what that was, so I said any old ginger ale would do. Jack Daniels did indeed appear on my bill at £3.50, as did the ginger ale (which turned out to be guess what… Canada Dry), however, if there was any whisky in that glass then I’m a monkey’s grandfather.
Two gulps in and realising how heaving it was inside, I opted to cut my losses. Was I going to stand and wait at the bar for five more minutes with a drink in my hand, then have to shout an explanation to the bar guy, uncertain of the outcome... or was I going to move on? We decided on the latter.
Still, that aside, The library must be one of the go-to places, assuming you are up for a loud night.
If you want a nice quiet drink and a bar which isn’t permanently three-deep in students, then perhaps try somewhere more suburban.
This is a pub for all seasons and all-comers. It’s large, lively and open from 9.30am (so, for breakfast) right through to the small hours, serving pub food, brunch dishes and desserts, plus there’s sports on TV.
It won’t appeal to everyone but considering its locale, it’s a venue perfectly adapted to its surroundings.
The Library, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds