It was a big blow to Leeds when the Garage/Waxwerks/OK Karaoke complex shut down for good in 2013. The building stood empty for over a year before The Office arrived on the scene. It occupies the former Waxwerks space in the basement, and is trying hard to be the ultimate independent “after-work bar” for Leeds’s business district.
The space is surprisingly large inside, with three rooms (if you count the few tables dotted in the corridor outside the toilets!) and lots of small tables and barrels to sit at. The décor is both gaudy and unintrusive – which actually works really well for this kind of bar – and we felt very comfortable here. The staff are very friendly, the music is cheesy but good, and the vibe is extremely chilled out.
The beer selection is very limited: Dogfish Head’s DNA was the only exciting option (alongside Estrella, Alhambra and Bombardier on keg). Before 9pm Mon-Thu all beers are £3.75 a pint and the prices were OK even outside of happy hour (we visited during so-called “weekend overtime”). Every beer comes with free nuts, which is a nice touch.
We enjoyed our trip to The Office. Being a bar that caters primarily to the “one drink after work” crowd, it didn’t have much to offer that will bring us back, especially as the beer selection is so limited. But any friendly, chilled-out bar in this part of town is very welcome indeed.