His first venture is Pixel Bar – West Yorkshire’s first bar dedicated to video games and e-sports, tucked underground on Great George Street.
There are gaming booths kitted out with a range of Playstation and Xbox games, high-spec PCs, a corner for competitive e-sports and a custom-made Dungeons and Dragons table.
The gaming booths and PCs are rented out by the hour, but entry is free and staff welcome you to soak up the atmosphere, watch live e-sports on two big screens or watch other gamers engage in a competitive Mario Kart battle.
Pixel Bar opened at the end of September and is already packed out at weekends, so I wanted to see what is drawing customers in.
Lee’s vision is clear in every corner of the bar, from striking custom artwork to LED lighting and ‘cubed’ light fixtures.
I'm not a huge gamer, so I was worried I’d feel out of place amongst some serious pros.
This was not the case – the bar was busy on a Monday night but it was a real mix of people, from dates nestled away in a gaming booth to young lads joyfully shouting at their game.
There are plenty of tables for those who just want a pint or a bite to eat and the staff were warm and helpfully explained all the games on offer.
What’s behind the bar?
Pixel Bar is fully-stocked with wines, a good choice of beers and a 16-drink-strong cocktail menu.
The bar also offers pub grub from Almost Famous next door, so you really can settle down for the evening.
What did you drink?
We visited during happy hour (2-4-1 on the same cocktail between 5pm and 9pm) so picked from the gaming-themed cocktail menu.
The child in me couldn’t resist the ‘Who’s That Pokemon’ cocktail, a vodka, lemon juice and soda infusion with a choice of syrup. I picked elderflower, which was zingy and refreshing, but the real treat was the Pokemon card that came with the drink. I got the very cute Lillipup card.
Our second cocktail was King of the Swing, a nod to Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, made with spiced rum, Supasova, banana, pineapple juice and agave nectar. This was my friend’s choice and I was worried it would be too sweet – but it was perfectly balanced and deliciously creamy.
Was it good value for money?
The cocktails were on the pricey side, between £8.50 and £9, but they were tasty and a generous size. The touch of the pokemon card was lovely but these cocktails stood up on their own, they were well-crafted and looked great for the ‘gram.
Address: 25 Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3AL
Opening times: 12pm-1am Sunday to Thursday, 12pm-3am Friday and Saturday.
Phone number: 07498 521 168