The Viaduct is the home of drag shows in Leeds, and that is definitely the focus here. There’s a big stage at the back and even TV screens to relay the show to other parts of the bar. There’s also a live DJ — apparently at all times — belting out cheesy pop classics at full volume.
Over-the-top and gaudy is to be expected, but it actually felt closer to “dark and noisy” so we escaped to the sizeable beer garden at the side.
Beer-wise the choice is disappointing. You’re basically stuck with Tetley’s keg, Tuborg or San Miguel on tap and nothing of interest in the fridge (Budweiser and San Miguel Fresca… yeah). The Viaduct is sadly another place that makes the inaccurate assumption that no gay people like decent beer.1 It was also really expensive: for £8.10 we got two halves and a single vodka.
We’re beer snobs, though. The Viaduct is popular and well-established in the Leeds gay scene. There are lots of events throughout the week: bingo, karaoke, a quiz and many drag shows so you any time you go you can be sure of something more than a nice quiet drink. Just don’t expect a nice quiet drink. Or a nice drink at all, really.