Reviewing every last watering hole in Leeds city centre

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

  • Beer
  • Atmosphere
  • Amenities
  • Value
Sadly, this bar has now closed down.
Look for the Carpe Diem lantern.

Look for the Carpe Diem lantern.

Carpe Diem is the original rock bar in Leeds, occupying a prime location in the basement of the old school board building, bang in the middle of the Civic Quarter.

What's the name of this bar? Oh, right.

What’s the name of this bar? Oh, right.

Carpe’s proximity to the rest of the quarter’s glitz doesn’t mean it’s hipsterized itself. The soul of a rock bar is still here, with loads of space, great music, shabby décor, dirty food and low prices. It’s about as unpretentious as a bar can get. I love pretension these days but I felt instantly at home in Carpe Diem which reminded me of being a spotty teenager when I first discovered booze and hormones. Indeed, the crowd here is quite young. There are student discounts and when it’s busy you will find the 25+ crowd is a minority in here, although there’s nothing really to turn us away.

Sports. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're on the big screen.

Sports. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re on the big screen.

The beer selection isn’t spectacular: there are two casks (Leeds Pale and Saltaire Pride) and Pistonhead in the fridge but little else of any interest. The prices can’t be beaten, though — on Sunday & Monday cask ale is a minuscule £2 a pint! There are also plenty of spirits and cocktails to choose from, including some dubious alcoholic milkshakes.

Two pool tables add to the immensely long list of amenities.

Two pool tables add to the immensely long list of amenities.

The list of amenities at Carpe is unbelievable: there are club nights and live music, a quiz, live sports, two pool tables, a cash machine and various games including a pub arcade game and pinball. The only thing that kept it from a 5-star rating was the lack of somewhere to sit outside.

This place is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re not everyone and you feel left out elsewhere, Carpe Diem might just be the place for you.

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Calverley Street
Leeds LS1 3ED
0113 243 6264


  1. I’ve only been to Carpe Diem a couple of times, but it’s nice to know that they have cask ale deals on the weekend! I may try and get over there for some Saltaire Pride, that sounds amazing! Thank you for the heads up!

    • Although the authors of the website seem to disagree, given the high ratings for Wetherspoons pubs, a pub is meant to be a nice or at least atmospheric/interesting place to spend time in, rather than simply a room to drink in.

      Carpe Diem has price, location and facilities going for it, but not beer or atmosphere, surely the primary reasons for being somewhere. It isn’t as such a nice place to be- generic and soulless, as well as dirty and unfriendly.

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