Belgrave Music Hall — just opened next door to Sandinista! — is the new place everyone’s talking about, and with good reason. It’s a very ambitious project that tries to combine many of our favourite things in one place: craft beer, real ale, street food, live music and a roof garden!
The first thing you notice when you walk in is all the neon lighting. Each of the various areas is lit with a neon sign and the place is otherwise quite dark (hence the crappy photos). The bar is on the ground canteen floor and had been cleaned right out of real ale (we visited at the end of its opening weekend) but ordinarily there are 6 casks, as well as kegs serving beers from Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, Five Points and Belhaven. In the fridge we spied more from those breweries, plus some from Oskar Blues, Anchor, BrewDog and Maui as well as a couple of staple Belgian beers.
Also on the ground floor are the two street food outlets. One is The Dough Boys (actually not all men) who sell extremely good value pizza by the slice with lots of weird and wonderful recipes, including specials themed after bands playing upstairs. I tried Baa No More which was Moroccan lamb with pomegranate sauce. Not your normal pizza, that’s for sure. The other food outlet is curated by Northern StrEats, which includes our old friends Fish&. They were responsible for the food at your Questers’ wedding so they have a very special place in our hearts, and it’s amazing to see them getting the (neon) glory they deserve!
The middle floor is the music venue. The owners are already very well established promoters in Leeds and this is clearly reflected in the lineup of acts they’ve got to play here: at least 5 are even people I’ve heard of!
The very top floor is a roof garden. Now, I’ve probably mentioned before that I love a roof garden and this one might be the best we’ve seen in Leeds. There are picnic tables, sheds to hide you from the elements, witty slogans and astroturf! What more could you ask for? The view isn’t spectacular, although when the bit facing Cross Belgrave Street is done we can imagine that view will be very popular.
Really, Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen has everything we’re looking for in a place. The beer selection is not the best in Leeds but it’s certainly excellent, and the food, music and roof garden get it lots of points from us. It’s probably very busy on Fridays and Saturdays but it was very quiet when we visited. The only downside is the price: you’re talking £4-5 for a bottled beer. But, y’know, that just means you have to eat more cheap amazing pizza to make up for it!