Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

Belgrave

BMH&C is another place that you’re not exactly sure what it is. Their web site says it’s an Independent venue with music, art, film and food spread across three floors, including Leeds’ most spectacular roof terrace. Take note though, if you go upstairs they make you have a plastic glass, not a polycarbonate neither, one of them wiffy waffy, flippy flappy disposable ones that spills half your ale out if you squeeze it too hard. The roof terrace is worth a look on a pleasant day. It’s a bit like something the blokes at our local LCC recycling plant have created from everything out of their skips. A bit wacky, kitschy, plasticky grassy, garden sheddy sort of a place. Going up the stairs is different too, reminiscent of the sort of old warehouse that young urban photographers break into to take horrendous multiple exposure HDR images. Well you don’t have to bother here lads, you can just walk in. A notice at the bottom of the stairs on Monday said the gents were under refurbishment, the whiff of eau de piss, confirming the need.

BarIf you call in around tea time in the second half of the week you’ll find the place really busy, proper busy with a good buzz. Lots of food smells and lots of people of all ages, mainly white who were in, or had at some time been in, tertiary education. Quite a lot of beards and even some denim dungarees. Maybe there’s a Dexy’s come back on the cards? The place used to be a snooker hall, but it now looks like a collision between Meat market and Brewdog which has spewed out refectory tables, sofas and food serving hatches.

burgersFood is a big theme. We had some rather good pizza from Dough boys. Three big slices for around a fiver as it’s half price for your first two slices before seven. There’s also Patty Smith’s and their burgers looked pretty good as well, again reasonably priced. They’ve got to have the best disposable forks anywhere, wooden ones with a bit of a curve going on at the business end. Awesome, not even Uri Geller could bend these boys. I’ve had some pizza on a few visits, try the ‘Baa no more’. Top marks and in terms of price, during the day, what you gain on the pizza roundabout you lose on the beer swings.

OTBThey obviously get through the ale because there were two hand pumps with no pump clip last Wednesday evening, although this was rectified on my next visit and the full six cask ale lines were back on, along with the seven craft style keg lines and a few of the usual suspects – they even have Carlsberg. All in all a good selection and my pint was decent, although it prompted a chorus of the Yorkshire war cry, ‘How much?’ Yep, £4.10, for a pint of Cloudwater pale (4.1%), which I think is just a bit on the dear side. Sick squid? I felt like one when I saw what the price of a pint of keg Jaipur was, a whole £1.80 more expensive than the £4.20 being charged in a more beer centric place on Boar Lane.

SofasThis sort of brings me to the crux of it. BMH&C isn’t a pub, it isn’t a bar, it’s not a restaurant, but you can get good food. It’s none of these and a whole lot more at the same time with it’s regular street food events, music and lots more. The longer I looked at it, the more I thought someone had been down to E.1 and had a look around Shoreditch and what’s going on round there and thought – we’ll take that up to Leeds. Well, I’m glad you have done. I just wished you’d priced your beer in line with everywhere else in town. No, I’m not going to get a friends and family card and drink pints of Amstel for £2.75 Mon to Thu. I just want really good beer at a really good price, please. BMH&C has the first but not the latter.

 

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2 thoughts on “Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds

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