Bar review: The Reliance, Leeds
Tucked away on the edge of the city centre, The Reliance has enjoyed an extremely loyal customer base now for well over 15 years.
Part of the reason is the sensational food offering it affords its visitors but it should not be considered that The Reliance is a restaurant that also allows customers to drink at the bar.
It is a well-respected and enjoyable place to enjoy a few drinks, any night of the week.
For years it has run a highly popular pub quiz and its informal pub atmosphere is one that many of its city centre rivals bend over backwards to try and emulate, often without success.
Like all great bars it has a dizzying array of drink on offer.
A large selection of craft and hand-pulled beer sit alongside a strong offering of wines and spirits.
It updates its bitter and cider pumps regularly, with an emphasis on showcasing small independent breweries.
Out visit comes on a Friday night so naturally the bar is busy.
However without too much of a wait we soon find ourselves able to grab a table and begin setting the world to rights.
On the night in question my friends and I enjoy a couple of rounds of Ilkley Fortis before moving on to one of the bar’s own libations, Reliance Best, produced at the nearby Acorn Brewery.
A controversial suggestion is raised that we switch from beer to wine.
Despite it being ingrained in all men from a young age that the grain and the grape should never be mixed we throw caution to the wind and begin an unnecessarily lengthy debate as to what we should order.
All of a sudden a bunch of supposedly-respectable (not-so-young) professionals begin an impassioned debate as to what should be ordered.
Eventually we decide upon a combination of Malbec and Shiraz which seems to satisfy the high-end and sophisticated pallets of those assembled.
You cannot help but notice when in The Reliance what a great crowd it attracts. There is no boorish loud shouting, no egotistical nightmares brought large by having been given access to alcohol, just a collection of well-behaved and interesting people having some fun. We even get our drinks brought to our table at one point by a very friendly member of the staff.
If you are so inclined you can avail yourself of The Little Reliance Cinema. This offering has regular screenings and is also available for private hire, offering the fabulous opportunity to watch a quality movie and have a few drinks in seclusion.
In a city where bars come and go The Reliance remains a stalwart, a proud part of Leeds heritage. Long may it reign.