Bar review: The Liquorist, Greek Street, Leeds

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There’s some talk at the moment about a resurgence of Greek Street – once one of Leeds’s most celebrated night spots.

Over recent years the huge bloom of contemporary ‘dive bars’ and such like, pulling in the crowds their novelty themes and fresh ideas, has arguably weakened its popularity somewhat.

20 May 2015.......        Barfly.....    The Liquorist, 5-7 Greek Street, Leeds,  TJ100854e Picture by Tony Johnson

20 May 2015....... Barfly..... The Liquorist, 5-7 Greek Street, Leeds, TJ100854e Picture by Tony Johnson

But with some new faces now along the stretch just off Park Row that are keen to show off their creativity, it’s again looking like a place to be, and will this summer surely benefit from the scheme to pedestrianise the road for revellers.

The Liquorist has been around for a couple of years now, and seems to be holding its own. On a sunny midweek evening it has a Continental vibe with people supping and chatting in the sun outside.

Lovely as that is – and we take advantage, though it would have been nice if the table had been cleared of the last party’s glasses at some point – it’s a shame that the bar’s interesting decor might go unappreciated while people catch the rays in these months.

It is consciously and carefully mismatched, with chairs in many bright colours clashing with the white slate, brick and dark wooden floor.

During the daytime, the main bar area benefits from the natural light shining through a central atrium which really opens the place up.

It’s roomy, with several secluded seating areas on offer alongside tables ripe for busy conversation - inevitably about the extensive cocktail list.

I order a Raspberry and Thyme Martini (£5.95 as part of a deal on certain drinks all day from Sunday to Friday, and Saturday from noon to 5pm; otherwise it’s £8.95). And for my friend - who apparently has no scruples about it being a school night – that dangerous, delicious classic cocktail, a Zombie (£9.95).

The Martini – Ciroc vodka, Chambord, sugar syrup, raspberry purée, cranberry juice, lemon juice and thyme – presented neatly with a lone raspberry propped on top was sweet and subtly herby. So, very drinkable.

The Zombie includes three-year-old Havana Club, Wray & Nephew and Captain Morgan rums, Crème de Apricot, sugar syrup, pineapple juice and lime juice, and was customarily set alight (am I the only one who just thinks of the Flaming Moe’s episode of The Simpsons when they do this?).

My friend described it as “pretty standard”, though “tropical and very boozy, just as you’d want it”. A bit steep for just under a tenner, but she seemed to knock it back enthusiastically enough.

The bartender was chatty and clearly knew what she was doing. All other manner of drink is served at the bar, and alcohol-free cocktails are also offered.