The Rock Bar subtitles itself Ibiza-Leeds, and this is obviously the vibe they’re going for. Like most bars on Call Lane, it’s a place for a certain demographic to get extremely dressed up and show off.
The Rock Bar is more of a club than a bar, with a permanent DJ and dancefloor: music seems to be an eclectic mix on Fridays and regular club music on Thursdays and Sundays (it’s not clear where the Rock in the name comes in). Unlike a club, however, you’re not paying for the DJ on the door… you’re paying for the DJ with every drink you buy. We spent £8.30 on a bottle of Mahou and a single vodka & Ting.
Beer choice is as limited as you might expect in a place like this: Heineken, San Miguel and Sagres on tap (all off when we visited) and Mahou, Quilmes, Estrella and Pistonhead in the fridge. The staff were very friendly and we felt very welcome despite not looking like Call Lane regulars.
The décor is quite surprising: it’s a kind of Moorish/Moroccan look with low tables (all reserved), extravagant lamps and a real (not actually real) tree growing right over the dance floor!
We definitely don’t fit in with the Call Lane set but I could actually imagine myself coming back here if I was desperate to get dressed up and have a dance to unidentifiable music, especially as the age range seemed pretty diverse and I wouldn’t feel too old.
But it’s definitely not one for beer lovers and the price especially keeps its score at the bottom of the barrel.
Some edits were made after communication with Katy from the bar in the comments.
Tags: dance floor, free wifi
Hi there –
Many thanks for visiting our bar and for your review.
I just felt it necessary to highlight a few inaccuracies in your article….
The Rock Bar is indeed an Ibiza themed venue and anyone with any knowledge of this Balearic gem or indeed of geography in general would probably appreciate that our name is in fact derived from Ibiza being a rock island, and nothing to do with any musical preferences.
I am sorry that you feel that our beer selection is limited, however as a small, independent venue I think offering a selection of 9 different beers to our customers, would in fact cover most bases. We take pride in the fact that our beers are carefully selected to reflect our Catalan roots.
As for the prices of our drinks, we are completely governed by the prices of the brewery and in comparison to other bars in Leeds, our prices are in fact a little lower than most when purchasing the equivalent beverages. Again, we are not a chain, we are independent and the small eclectic nature of the bar is, as every other venue, also reflected in the price. One might surmise, therefore, that you do indeed get what you pay for.
We have no link to the venue next door, Backroom, as your article inaccurately suggests, apart from being in the same postcode. They are owned and run entirely independently of each other.
And finally. You are completely right in saying that you are more impressed than you should be by our ‘real’ tree. Because of course it is not real. How on earth could it be? Where would the roots grow? Into the concrete floor perhaps?
What your review demonstrably fails to capture is indeed the very essence of The Rock Bar. The regular customers and people who work there. Perhaps if you had taken the time to chat to the friendly staff who are notorious for always being able to spare a moment for a natter over the bar and a pint, you might have been able to offer a more accurate review.
We look forward to serving you again :0) x
Hi Katy – thanks for your comments.
We are on a Quest to review all the bars in central Leeds specifically from a beer-lover’s perspective, and we’ve got to about 190 so I suppose we’ve got a little lazy in some of our assumptions.
We did find the staff were very friendly and we have forgotten to include this fact in our review: something I will update. The connection with the Backroom came from your own website’s advert for Entourage Thursdays, but I realize I attributed too much to a collaboration so I will correct this. And the tree I’d assumed was a giant bonsai – congratulations on making it look so realistic!
(We’d assumed Rock was perhaps a pun related to both Ibiza and the music choices, but I appreciate this is not the case.)
However, our comments about the beer still stand. Leeds is an exceptional place to go out for beer lovers, and selling a handful of almost-identical eurolagers at craft beer prices is not up our street. It’s perfect for the atmosphere you’re cultivating but it just doesn’t fit with what we’re searching for on the Quest.
See you in the future when we want a dance!