Punters’ online bid to save historic Leeds pub

The Chemic Tavern, Leeds.
The Chemic Tavern, Leeds.
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CUSTOMERS fighting to save a much-loved Leeds pub have pledged hundreds of pounds in an online fund to keep it from going under.

As previously reported in the YEP, landlords at The Chemic Tavern in Woodhouse feared the pub may be forced to close due to a 31 per cent rise in business rates.

An emergency meeting was held with concerned residents last week and now a GoFundMe page has been set up in a bid to cover the business rates shortfall.

Dozens of supporters have already come forward and pledged £1,800 in just two days.

Charlotte Stanley, 32, took on the pub with friends Kate Riley, 32, and Robert Wood, 23, two years ago as part of DBBA Ltd after they heard it could close.

Both Kate and Robert worked as bar staff before taking on the business.

Charlotte said: “The response has been overwhelming.

“It would seem The Chemic has a lot of friends!

“A lot of people have been coming through our doors offering support.”

She added: “Everything has snowballed very quickly and in quite an unexpected way.

“The meeting resulted in a lot of love and concern from the people who came.

“A conclusion was made that people wanted to help irrespective of how we [DBBA] had stated we didn’t want a handout.

“We just wish for a sustainable business.”

Charlotte explained the £5,000 target would help cover the £2,000 debt for last year’s outstanding business rates plus the £1,500 owed for this year, as well as helping to ‘cushion their losses’ while they appeal against the new rates.


The traditional pub on Johnston Street has become known for hosting regular gigs and supporting local musicians.

It was named Best Pub in Leeds by Welcome to Yorkshire last year and is part of the Yorkshire Ale Trail.

It is believed the pub was named after the nearby Johnston’s Chemical Works factory, which made vitriol, or sulphuric acid.

The factory and pub were established in the early 19th century but the factory was later demolished in 1890.

For more information about The Chemic Tavern, visit the pub’s website at: www.thechemictavern.co.uk