Atlas Pub is a new addition to the financial quarter, taking over from the brilliant but doomed Create. It’s run by the same people behind The Pour House and Épernay, so there’s already something to live up to.
As well as the weird name (who puts “Pub” in the name of a pub?), this pub has described itself as “London-style”. We’re not exactly sure what that means but amazingly after visiting we couldn’t have described it better ourselves.
The emphasis here is obviously on the food. There’s a decent-sized varied menu and the food is good. But, as we always say, we’re here for the beer. There are 6 casks from Wharfebank, Leeds and Thwaites and an uninteresting selection of kegs (the most interesting two were Kaltenberg and Sagres). In the fridge we saw Duvel, both kinds of Vedett, Asahi and Blue Moon. Their beer selection would be good in most places but in Leeds it’s not going to get 5 stars. The whisky selection is another story, but we’re not Leeds Whisky Quest!
Of course, what really lets Atlas Pub down for us is the very thing it wants to be: a magnet for suited business types. Everything about it from the menu to the décor to the size to the drinks selection is designed to appeal to large numbers of casual drinkers with more money than taste. And it does this exceptionally well — it’s always rammed on the weekends. If I ran The Restaurant Bar & Grill, I’d be worried about my clientèle jumping ship.
If you’re looking for the London experience in Leeds, Atlas Pub has sorted it. But I want to stay as far away from this nation’s capital as I can.
Atlas also has music upstairs despite the building have the worst acoustics in the entire world. The sound cascades downstairs in a hail of discordant echoes, made worse on karaoke night. They couldn’t have cheapened the place anymore if they tried. However they have an excellent selection on tap- better than credited above- and the seating downstairs is very stylish. There are good times to go to make the best of it. The place is dominated by a spiral staircase near the entrance that should’ve been bulldozed a decade ago.