Reviewing every last watering hole in Leeds city centre

The Duncan

The Duncan

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Where is it? I can't spot it without all the smokers standing outside!

Where is it? I can’t spot it without all the smokers standing outside!

I must admit: I felt a little intimidated going into The Duncan. Every time I’d walked by this city centre fixture, I’d seen numerous regulars standing outside smoking, talking boisterously, and seemingly intoxicated in the middle of a weekday. I got the impression that it wasn’t the type of the place that was particularly open to outsiders. Not that folks were rude, mind you; it just seemed like a closed club. But given our dedication to the Quest, we were determined to get into that club!

We visited on a Saturday night, after being discouraged by the heaving crowds at the two new Trinity bars. (But really, what did we expect?) When we entered, no hush fell over the place, no one stared intently at us, and we were pleasantly surprised to see how quiet it was. It made me want to go back on a Wednesday afternoon when the joint is really jumpin’ and get the full experience. One day, perhaps.

A ward room is the mess hall for officers on a ship, apparently. We looked it up.

A ward room is the mess hall for officers on a ship, apparently. We looked it up.

The few folks that were there certainly had been there a while, and most of them had flat caps and thick Yorkshire accents as we expected. We didn’t get a fantastically warm welcome but nobody made us feel like we didn’t belong. And while I expected to be the youngest patrons and the only non-regulars, in fact we were not. The fittings are not spectacularly well-maintained but certainly better than some we’ve seen and the atmosphere was pretty standard for a Sam Smith’s pub. (Lots of Leeds United paraphernalia, so beware on match day.)

We’re fans of the Sam Smith’s brand, but surprisingly you’ll find no casks here, which cost The Duncan in the beer rating department. Still, the variety of kegs is good, including Extra Stout, Old Brewery, Sovereign, and three types of lager. Not too many bottles to choose from — just organic lager and organic cider, so The Old Red Lion and the Angel beat them there. And the value is as good as at any Sam Smith’s establishment. They also have a large separate pool room with two tables, complete with offers like “Two pints of lager and a game of pool for under £4.” Beat that with a stick!

I'm not sure how much that guy on the left wanted to be in our picture. We should probably get people to sign waivers.

The main bar area. Not too shabby.

Basically we were pleasantly surprised with The Duncan, in that we didn’t feel completely ostracized and the surroundings were acceptable. That said, we’re not exactly starting up a fan club either. If we were, though, we would call ourselves The Duncan Donuts!

(I crack myself up.)

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Map

Contact

Address
22 Duncan Street
Leeds LS1 6DL
Telephone
245 9916
Twitter
@duncanpub

One Comment

  1. WHEN I HAVE A WEEK OFF WORK I COME TO LEEDS FROM DEWSBURY AFTER DOING SOME SHOPPING I CALL IN THE DUNCAN AND SIT IN THE WARD ROOM YOU GET SOME STRANGE PEOPLE IN BUT NEVER THE LESS NO ONE BOTHERS YOU YOU ALSO GET PLEANTY OF FREINDLY FACES TOO WHO IVE GOT TO KNOW.IVE NEVER KNOW ANYONE POUR 3 OR 4 PINTS AND SERVE AT THE SAME TIME LIKE JUNE THAT MUST TAKE SOME SKILL SAM SMIHS OLD BREWERY BITTER £1.80 A PINT BRILLIANT PRICE WILL ALWAYS CALL INTIO MY FAVORATE PUB IN LEEDS THE DUNCAN WORTH A VISIT EVERYTIME

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