Belgrave Music Hall is a unique force in Leeds. Having taken over the site of a former snooker hall, seemingly too big to be filled by a humble bar, Belgrave immediately used the space for a multitude of marvellous uses. Yes, it’s a bar, and a mighty good one too, but it’s also a street food haven, a live music venue, a rooftop sunspot, a pop-up event space, and all done exceptionally, with none diluting another. Whether you’re drawn to the great gigs, the excellent selection of beers, or the pizza and burgers on standby to feed you, Belgrave has something for you, and as we search out other Leeds hotspots excelling in these offerings, so too will this blog…
Belgrave’s primary function is that of a boozer, and they certainly offer the beer drinker a phenomenal choice. Indeed, the only issue you might encounter when stepping up to the bar is narrowing the selection down to one. But it’s not the only place in Leeds with such a range of ales; the original beer specialist, North Bar, is still going strong with dozens of cask, keg, bottles and cans, and their more recent North Brewery is not only stocked in their own place but also rotating in Belgrave too.
Another beer aficionado before the ale craze of the last decade offers even more weird and wonderful options; Beer Ritz is a wondrous shop in Headingley which lines its walls with hundreds of drinks from brewers local, national and worldwide. Nearby, Growlers follows suit, offering take out or drink in options in the couple of years since setting up. And plenty of others across the city serve a terrific array of beers, from Assembly Underground’s gargantuan collection to Bundobust’s expert selection.
Not far behind the booze, a popular attraction to Belgrave punters is that which soaks it up. Two permanent food vendors within are major crowdpleasers, with the sumptuous burgers at Patty Smith and the bargainous half-price slice pizza offer at Dough Boys. So if, like pretty much everybody, you like those, where else will you like?
How about Almost Famous and their juicy burgers in a similarly vibrant setting. Or The Adelphi for more handmade patties alongside fine ale. Or the aforementioned Assembly Underground follows a similar model, with street food sellers including beautiful burgers by Slap & Pickle and pizza by The Pizza Authority. More Neapolitan goodness can be found at Ecco Pizzeria, at Pizza Fella, or again, paired with a huge choice of beers, at Tapped.
Beyond the food and drink, Belgrave provides plenty of entertainment and culture too. Their list of gigs are on trend and on taste, with both impeccable timeless artists and exciting acts of the now. This ethos follows that of Leeds’ awesome independent music venue Brudenell Social Club, and hot on its heels, newer intimate space, Hyde Park Book Club. Indeed, whilst Leeds has a multitude of excellent music venues, each, including Belgrave, has its own place in the city.
Perhaps the most similar place to combine all of the elements of Belgrave Music Hall is not a surprise but is a welcome relative. Headrow House opened a little later than Belgrave by the same folk behind it, and initially takes on the same personality: three floors, beers, food, rooftop terrace, vibrancy and eclecticism. Their differences have become more noticeable with time, as younger sibling Headrow House has actually become the more mature of the two, and Belgrave the more youthful, though both cross over to large extents. Which for Leeds, with two of these incredible multi-use venues, can only be a fantastic thing.