Bar review: The Wardrobe, St Peter’s Square, Leeds

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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It was a gig which brought us to The Wardrobe, a venue on the outskirts of the city centre that could easily be overlooked because of its location.

Part of what is now being talked about as the city’s cultural quarter, this independently owned bar in St Peter’s Square serves up food and drink daily alongside a line-up of live music, comedy and club nights.

The bar and music venue first opened back in 1999.

The bar and music venue first opened back in 1999.

The latter are hosted in the basement, which has a smaller bar of its own, but the main bar upstairs absolutely merits a visit in its own right.

It’s a large open plan space, broken up by raised areas with seating, booths and clusters of tables that make it a good choice whatever the size of your drinking party.

There’s nothing particularly stand-out when it comes to the decor, but there’s a warm feel to the place which added to the upbeat atmosphere on the night we visited.

I decided to kick things off by treating myself to one of the speciality gin and tonics from the Gin Club menu – double measures served in balloon glasses with various garnishes, ranging from £8.95 to £11.95.

The Plymouth gin served with Sicilian lemon tonic, rosemary and black pepper was tart and refreshing, and it was pleasing to see the attention to detail as it was prepared.

Perhaps that’s to be expected from a bar that also has a separate cocktail menu and offers masterclasses, but it could also explain why The Wardrobe endures after almost 30 years when so many other bars have come and gone.

With one eye on cost, I went for the Summer Fruits Leeds Gin with tonic (£5.20) next and was not disappointed.

My other half is not one for cocktails or spirits, so took a chance on the Wardrobe Pale (£4) and found it so enjoyable that a second soon followed.

Having had a fantastic time at the gig which came after, we both were left wondering why we hadn’t been to the Wardrobe in so long – something we’re glad to have rectified.

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