Hidden away up outside the inner ring road, North Street is quickly becoming a new centre of Leeds nightlife. Old favourite The Reliance has been joined in the last month by ShuffleDog and now The Brunswick, which has taken over this space from the mysterious Divine Exchange Christian Centre.
The bar is run by a who’s who of the Leeds beer scene, with their heritage in places like Tall Boys, Belgrave, Nation of Shopkeepers and Northern Monk. And it shows. The beer selection here is spectacular: we counted 6 casks and 8 kegs (including ‘Brunswick Lager’), and a countless array of bottles and cans, including many rare ones from local breweries and international favourites such as Mikkeller.
The décor is spartan and very new-feeling. The tables upstairs are completely untreated so they feel a bit ‘splintery’ but it works well for this environment. I couldn’t help feeling like this was ‘Tall Boys: Pub Edition’, because the atmosphere (and the beer selection) is very similar. There’s something quite unique about the place too that I couldn’t put my finger on. I think maybe it is to do with the light airiness: I can imagine this would be a great place to spend an afternoon playing board games on the huge tables upstairs.
Talking of upstairs, there are three floors here: the bar is downstairs, the kitchen (and giant tables) in the middle and the attic is an art & live music space that will be curated by different groups on a rotation. It’s a small place but it’s got enough going on that it didn’t feel busy even on a Friday night, although that might just be because it’s new.
The food is fancypants small-ish plates which are extremely reasonably priced. We didn’t eat, but we saw other people’s and it looked excellent.
Oh, and the toilets are gender-neutral, which is always something I’m happy to see.
The Brunswick feels like a good mixture of tried-and-tested and something-new, and I’m pretty sure it will be the new bar everyone’s talking about once the word gets out. It’s a very welcome addition to the lineup in this part of town and I can imagine we’ll be back often.