It’s a great sign to me as I walk into Granvilles Beer and Gin House, a slightly peculiar and novel little newcomer of a bar in Horsforth, that Bruce Springsteen is being played.
Because I’m not usually disappointed by anywhere which is in the habit of endorsing The Boss – a signal of good taste and good people.
I first spotted the bar, which opened in March, a few weeks ago on my way to an evening class (I know, so Horsforth) and was taken with its artisanal look. This is hardly a departure from the many offerings on the nearby Town Street stretch of cafes and pubs, but it struck me as boasting something a little different from them, something that from the outside reminded me a bit of The Reliance in Leeds city centre.
Set in the traditional Yorkshire stone buildings common to Horsforth, its wood-heavy interior, which is kind of laid out a bit like a cafe more than a pub at the front, is naturally welcoming.
There are stools set next to the window for people to see outside through the large front window.
Further into the bar, it’s a little narrower and cosy.
As I go up to order, I’m a bit worried there’s some sort of cleaning effort going on because there are no pump clips on the cask lines, but then the barman brings my attention to a healthy list of lagers, ales and dark beers behind me.
All the taps themselves are just labelled No1, No2, etc.
I go for the Granvilles House Lager (£4), which I find to be a perfectly serviceable crisp, clear pint.
Schooners are also available, as are steins.
I’m handed a loyalty card which offers a free drink worth upto £5 when it’s been stamped six times.
As the name suggests, gin features heavily in the extensive range of spirits offered. Plenty of flavoured kinds as well.
Regional and local products are given a good showing, including bottles by Horsforth Brewery, whose blackberry saison (highly carbonated pale ale) is what I go for next (£4.80).
This is a nice tipple – only slightly sweet but, vitally, tastes like beer enough and is not overwhelmingly fruity.
It’s mid-week when I’m in the bar after arriving early in the area for my aforementioned class (oh, silly me), but there’s a decent trickle of locals already in for post-work drinks.
In addition to The Boss, early rock ’n’ roll tunes play not too loudly and the clientele, which during my visit are middle-aged and trendy, seem to enjoy the relaxed environment.
Staff, too, are friendly and seemed to have a good knowledge of what they were selling.
I asked the barman how things were going at the place, to which he answered “so far, so good”. All new establishments would say the same, but it certainly does seem that way. Granvilles
Address: 20 Long Row, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5AA.