Kirkstall Bridge-my new favourite local

Meet my new favourite pub.

Kirkstall Brewery, who were ALL OVER the Leeds International Beer Festival and are growing in Leaps and Bounds (and do a very good range of beer), have opened their first pub. And damn, it is a nice one at that.

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These guys have done their homework. Everything about this pub is just lovely. I’ve been in so many renovated or new bars over the last few years that either smack of pretension, show a woeful lack of research into their target market (Girls Like Vintage, Don’t They?), or are a shabby job full of cost-saving measures. Not the case with Kirkstall Bridge. The lighting seems ok, there aren’t stupid frilly lampshades everywhere, however there are a requisite number of ridiculous things on the walls to ‘add character’. The toilets, as well, are beautiful.

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The jumping stag is possibly my favourite

Built over two floors with a bar on each, the bottom floor opens out to a car park and beautiful riverside beer garden that screamed ‘private venue possibly with marquee/stage area, lovely location, and it’s me thirtieth next year, hmmmm’ at me.  I went on Sunday afternoon, which was just glorious, and it was far quieter than it deserved to be. Doesn’t do food, which is a real pity as if it were any good they’d make a killing, but just a lovely lovely pub.

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I was on Kirkstall Best, being the afternoon and all. There is a nice range of drafts and kegs, guest ales on top of the Kirkstall standards, including the always quafable Three Swords and the deadly sounding Ruin. The soft drink choices where a little bizarre (highly caffeinated bottled cola, but no decent lemonade?) and they need to do little bits like expand the snacks, but it’s been open two weeks and the bar staff were so nice and helpful I’m sure everything will turn out well for them.

I’ve been looking for a decent local for a while now, and at the same distance from Headingley but without walking through half a mile of guaranteed street harassment on the way, this one might just be it!

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