Bar review: Slate NQ look set to snooker the competition
Whilst Leeds’ bar scene is flourishing with new places opening up every week, there have also been a few casualties too, with several of the city’s most longstanding watering joints shutting up shop. First to go was The Elbow Rooms a few months back, leaving pool fans quite literally snookered with nowhere to go (unless you fancy a grotty old man’s pub or a generic sports bar).
Then The Lounge suddenly ceased to be, which I personally found to be a real shame. Not only was it a great pub (that did cracking ribs), but home to some corking club nights over the years, including the brilliant Monocult.
Thankfully, the Jones group stepped into the venue with Slate NQ to help fill the hole left by the closure of the two aforementioned bars. Situated over two floors, Slate is home to seven US pool tables, two bars and three outdoor terraces (one of them on the rooftop) making it essential for the rare but welcome summer sun.
I attended the opening to see what the guys behind Roxy Lanes had done and was impressed with the results.
Boasting a design which is more subtle and rustic than its sister bars, Slate manages to be contemporary whilst still respecting the buildings roots with its classic Victorian coloured windows (sadly chavs had smashed one the night before launch, they must have smelt all the booze) and exposed beams.
As you walk in you are immediately faced with a brand new bar and to the left and what used to be the old bar now houses seating and an open pizza kitchen. The drink selection is vast. In terms of ale and lagers, you’ve got an extensive selection of local talent on draught, which come from Leeds, Kirkstall and Ilkley Brewery, as well as Roosters and Magic Rock.
To satisfy the many, many hipsters of Leeds (Northern Quarter can be like a sea of beards, skinny jeans and pasty skin at times) there are also a number of bottled craft beers on offer as well as a tempting cocktail menu. You won’t find drinks served in plant pots or food served in miniature wheelbarrows here mind; this place knows where to draw the line.
If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a range of tasty pizzas and deli style sharing platters on offer. You had to fight for pizza at the launch as there were a quite a few gannets there, but what I did sample was incredibly good and well worth a second look.
Merrion Street and the Northern Quarter in general has seen its popularity soar since Leeds Arena opened and given Slate brings so much more to the table than most, I’d be surprised if things don’t work out well for them. This could just well be a new regular haunt for me this summer, now where’s that bloody sunshine?