There’s been a beautiful old building on the corner of Boar Lane and Mill Hill, boarded up for so long that I’d given up hope it would ever be turned into anything. Not so any longer, as The Griffin has opened for business and so far seems to be filling a nice niche in this part of town. It proclaims itself a gastropub, though I would describe it as simply an upmarket chain pub (of the Taylor Walker brand); nicer than a place like Wetherspoon’s but not quite in the gastro territory of a place like Veritas.
It’s a massive space with lots of rooms, most dedicated to showing sports (appropriate, as the Griffin Hotel holds the historic gravitas as the place where Leeds United was founded). We went on a Sunday afternoon during match time and it was rowdy enough to keep the football fans happy, but not so rowdy as to be a complete turnoff to the likes of us. It has a room that’s decked out like an old tube station (an tube station!) that’s TV-free and also houses its live music on weekends.
The beer selection exceeded our expectations, with Brooklyn Lager, 13 Guns and Three Swords on keg, plus six or seven casks of an interesting variety including Rudgate, Saltaire, Daleside and Wychwood. Choice of bottles is fair, with Punk IPA, Leffe, Erdinger, and Estrella. They do flights of ale and have a single malt selection good enough to get a special mention from Rich.
There are plenty of amenities here, and large groups looking for a Sunday roast or a place to watch the game will be catered to very well. Being sandwiched between two of our all-time favourites however, means that we won’t find ourselves here all that often. Nice that it’s here, though — now this little corner of Leeds truly has something for everyone!